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Sunday, September 22, 2019

White House News

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China Unveils Retaliatory Tariffs as Dispute Escalates

China unveiled on Friday retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting an additional 10% on top of existing rates in the latest tit-for-tat exchange in a protracted dispute between the world's top two economies.The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.China's commerce ministry said in a statement it would impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5…

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Mnuchin: US, Chinese Call Could Produce 'in-person' Talks

U.S. and Chinese officials will hold a telephone call later on Thursday that could pave the way for further in-person trade talks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC.Mnuchin, speaking from the G7 meeting in Chantilly, France, said he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will participate in the call with their Chinese counterparts, adding that it follows an earlier discussion with their staffs."We'll see where we get," he said in an interview. "We continue to make progress.

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US, Chinese Officials to Resume Trade Talks

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday told reporters he expects to have another telephone call with Chinese officials this week as part of resumed discussions about a trade agreement.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month agreed to another truce in the year-long trade spat between the world's two largest economies.Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer followed up with a phone call with Chinese trade officials last week, but no details have been released about an expected in-person meeting.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation, The Honorable Elaine L. Chao (Photo: USDOT)

Chao to Receive AOTOS Award

The United Seamen’s Service  announced that U.S. Secretary of Transportation, The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, will receive the 2019 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award based on her career-long commitment to the maritime industry. The other, previously announced recipients are James Given, President of the Seafarers International Union of Canada; Anil Mathur, President and CEO of Alaska Tanker Corp.; and Joseph Pyne, Chairman of the Board of the Kirby Corporation.The award will be presented at the 50th annual AOTOS gala at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York City, on November 1, 2019.

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates…

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Trump: US-China Trade Talks Haven't Collapsed

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said trade talks with China had not collapsed, characterizing the trade war between the world's two largest economies as "a little squabble."He made the remarks to reporters at the White House as Beijing and Washington ratchet up tensions with tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.Trump indicated negotiators from the two countries were still talking, saying they were having a good dialogue.

A Hong Kong intermodal facility. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Marco 2811

Trump 'firm' on China Demands, Tariffs part of Enforcement

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday that President Donald Trump would "stand firm" on his demands for structural changes to China's trade practices, and removal of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would be a part of a mechanism to enforce any deal with Beijing.Pence told CNBC television in an interview aired on Friday that Trump "remains very hopeful" about reaching a trade deal with China in talks next week in Washington.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington…

U.S. Dredgers Applaud President for Jones Act Support

Wednesday, 1 May: Late this afternoon, President Donald Trump met with Congressional leaders from the Senate and House to discuss U.S. Maritime Policy. On the table was the Jones Act. President Trump assured the Congressional leaders that he is not seeking any changes to the Jones Act, nor is he seeking any waivers.“President Trump had the Jones Act matters all under control from the get-go”, said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Mr. Trump is all about jobs and national security — he’s never wavered on this.

Senator Cassidy: No Jones Act Waiver

A Republican U.S. senator on Wednesday said President Donald Trump will not waive rules requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Republican senators said the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for 10 years. Bloomberg News reported last week that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver.Senator Bill Cassidy…

The El Coqui, a U.S. flag ConRo carrier, recently built specifically for the Jones Act Caribbean trades and powered by environmentally friendly LNG. CREDIT: Crowley Maritime

Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act

President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump…

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US Officials in China Trade Talks Next Week

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for trade talks beginning on April 30, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.It said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead the Beijing talks for China, will also travel to Washington for more discussions starting on May 8."The subjects of next week's discussions will cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers…

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Trump Adviser 'Cautiously Optimistic' on China Trade Deal

A top White House economic adviser said on Tuesday the United States and China were making progress in trade negotiations and he was "cautiously optimistic" about the prospects for striking a deal.Speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said the two nations still had issues to address and were discussing a "visitation exchange" as part of their ongoing talks."We're not there yet, but we've made a heck of a lot of progress," Kudlow said in response to questions from reporters.

Dredging Operations at the Port of New Orleans, LA (CREDIT: Port NOLA)

U.S. Lawmakers Seek Massive Infrastructure Funding

Democratic leaders in Congress said on Thursday they would seek President Donald Trump's support in coming weeks for legislation to invest up to $2 trillion to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, including roads, bridges and schools.House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said at separate news conferences they would try to revive an effort that sputtered early in Trump's presidency for major investments in aging public works.The White…

Trump: U.S-China Trade Pact Possible in 4 Weeks

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States and China were close to a trade deal that could be announced within four weeks, while warning Beijing that it would be difficult to allow trade to continue without a pact.The two countries are engaged in intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war that has rattled global markets, but hopes of a resolution soared after both sides expressed optimism following talks in Beijing last week.Speaking to reporters at the White House at the start of a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He…

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New Round of U.S.-China Trade Talks Kicks Off Today

A new round of talks between the United States and China to resolve their trade war will take place in Washington on Tuesday, with follow-up sessions at a higher level later in the week, the White House said on Monday.The talks follow a round of negotiations that ended last week in Beijing without a deal but which officials said had generated progress on contentious issues between the two trading partners.The talks are aimed at "achieving needed structural changes in China that affect trade between the United States and China.

William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America

DCA's Doyle: President Trump Supports Strong Infrastructure Projects

In an address to Western Dredging Association (WEDA) stakeholders, William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America told his audience: It all starts with dredging. Good Morning, and thank you for inviting me here today to open-up the conference. This is my first time addressing the Western Dredging Association (WEDA), and I am honored to be here. It all starts with dredging, and President Donald J. Trump is backing it up with critical legislative measures. As I will address later in my remarks– the U.S.

File Image: A rendering of Matson's Aloha class containership.

Matson Christens First Aloha Class Vessel 'Daniel K. Inouye'

Largest Containership Built in U.S. Will Serve Hawaii. Matson, a U.S. flag carrier in the Pacific, and Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSI), the wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA (Oslo: PHLY) christened the largest containership ever built in the United States in a ceremony at the Philly Shipyard on Saturday, June 30. The new vessel is named 'Daniel K. Inouye' in honor of Hawaii's late senior U.S. Senator, who was a longstanding supporter of the U.S. maritime industry and its important role in supporting Hawaii's economy.

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China's Export Growth Steady, Import Growth Faster

China maintained solid export growth of 12.6 percent in May, slightly slower than in April, but still providing good news for Beijing's policymakers as they deal with tough trade negotiations with Washington.Imports also rose more than anticipated in May and at the fastest pace since January, with the data coming at a time when China has pledged to its trade partners - including the United States - that steps would be taken to increase imports.China, the world's largest exporter…

El Coquí entering San Juan (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Christens LNG ConRo El Coquí

Crowley Maritime Corp. on Saturday christened its Commitment Class combination container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ship El Coquí, which is among the first of its kind to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).The Jones Act compliant vessel is the first of two built as part of Crowley’s Commitment Class project and a key new component in the company’s supply chain transformation in the U.S. mainland-Puerto Rico trade. Sister ship Taíno is in the final phases of construction and testing at VT Halter Marine’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

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White House Condemns Turkey's Tariffs on US Imports

The White House on Wednesday condemned Turkey's doubling of tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol and tobacco imports, calling the action "a step in the wrong direction."Turkey took the action in response to what it called the Trump's administration's attack on its economy. The United States doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum last week, which contributed to a tumble in the Turkish lira."The tariffs from Turkey are certainly regrettable and a step in the wrong direction. The tariffs that the United States placed on Turkey were out of national security interest.

File Image: CREDIT Port of Boston

Top U.S. Trade Official Sees NAFTA 'breakthrough' in Days

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday said he hopes there will be a breakthrough in NAFTA trade talks in the next few days, as the U.S continues discussions over the North American Free Trade Agreement.Lighthizer made the remarks at White House meeting of President Trump's Cabinet. Trump told Lighthizer he was in no rush for a resolution over the pact: "We’re either going to do a fair NAFTA for us or we're not going to do NAFTA at all."Reporting by Steve Holland

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Trump Bets on New European LNG Terminals

U.S. President Donald Trump expects the European Union to fund 9 to 11 liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports to absorb "vastly" more shipments from the United States but current EU investment in new projects will only help open small markets.In a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on Monday, Trump said part of the U.S.-EU trade talks sought to expand America's reach into the continent's gas markets which were awash in Russian supply."And we are already talking to the European Union about building anywhere from 9 to 11 ports…

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White House Escalates China Trade Dispute in hopes for Early Solution: Kemp

The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November.U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 percent.The levies are…

U.S. Alarmed by Strike on Turkish Ship Delivering Wheat to Yemen

The United States said on Friday it was concerned about a Houthi missile strike on a Turkish vessel carrying wheat to Yemen this month and another attack on an oil tanker in the Red Sea. "The United States is alarmed by the Houthi missile strike against a Turkish cargo ship 70 miles off the coast of Yemen that was attempting to deliver 50,000 metric tons of wheat to Yemen’s Saleef port near Hudaydah," the White House said in a statement.

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China'a April Exports Stronger than Expected

China's exports rebounded more strongly than expected in April after a surprise drop the previous month, suggesting global demand remains relatively resilient and providing a cushion to the economy amid a heated trade dispute with the United States.Imports in April also grew more robustly than anticipated, signalling China's domestic demand is holding up well, good news for policymakers looking to soften the blow from any trade shocks.China's April exports rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier…