(Jill Dunn – Overdrive)
The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General has begun its final audit of the cross-border trucking pilot program with Mexico.
In October, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will conclude its three-year program granting long-haul authority to Mexican carriers. A 2007 law requires that the OIG audit the program and submit a final audit to Congress six months after the program ends. Read more here.
(Mridul Chadha – Clean Technica)
India may have avoided a major confrontation with the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO) with its decision not to impose anti-dumping duties on imported solar photovoltaic modules.
The Indian Ministry of Finance has rejected the proposal by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to levy anti-dumping duties on imported solar PV modules, government sources have told Press Trust of India. This culminates long-standing demands by domestic solar PV modules manufacturers which claimed loss of business. Some of these manufacturers are under tremendous financial strain. Read more here.
(Joanne Chiu – Marketwatch)
Chinese shipping operators are missing out on the global trade rebound, weighed down by excess shipping capacity and operating inefficiencies.
China Cosco Holdings Co. and China Shipping Container Lines Co., two of the country’s biggest shipping operators, posted weak earnings Thursday, with soft freight rates and high costs continuing to plague the companies, in contrast to strict cost controls that have buoyed competitors such as Hong Kong rival Orient Overseas (International) Ltd. and Maersk Line, the shipping unit of Danish giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S. Read more here.
Canada Post Corporation is reporting a profit of $67 million in 2014’s second quarter, the Crown corporation announced August 27, citing a decrease in employee benefit costs and increasing parcel deliveries.
The profit comes on the heels of a poor first quarter, which had a loss of $28 million. In 2013’s second quarter, the corporation reported a $50 million loss. [...]
Parcel delivery was strong due to online shopping. In the corporation’s mail delivery segment (as opposed to the corporation’s Purolator segment), domestic parcel delivery grew 10.9% as there were 2 million more parcels delivered. Read more here.
(IndustryWeek – AFP)
The Asian Development Bank on Wednesday urged India’s new government to cut stifling red-tape to draw foreign investment and get the country back on a high-growth track.
ADB President Takehiko Nakao, speaking after holding talks with India’s new right-wing premier Narendra Modi, noted the country’s economy posted near double-digit growth just a few years ago.
“To get back to a high-growth path of 8-8%, it’s crucial to implement investment-friendly reforms being initiated by the government,” and ease India’s bureaucratic red-tape, Nakao told reporters in New Delhi. Read more here.
Members also agreed to expedite talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Wednesday expressed concern over delay in implementing the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that seeks to smoothen global customs rules, as was agreed during the during the Bali Ministerial last year.
Members also agreed to expedite talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). Read more here.
(Will Waters – Lloyd’s Loading List)
Several U.S.-bound containerships have been held for up to a week before being allowed entry into U.S. ports because of infestation from Asian Gypsy Moths, in what U.S. Customs and Border Protection describes as the worst Asian Gypsy Moth season in recent memory.
According to a report in the JOC, Customs officers in LA have ordered 12 ships back into international waters already this season to be disinfected after arriving at port with moth larvae on board. This year’s moth season is just over halfway through. Read more here.
(Corianne Egan – JOC)
The number of containers moving through major North American ports was up over 4% in the first half of 2014, port statistics show.
Now that numbers published by the ports are all out – Metro Vancouver lagged in its release date, finally releasing its first-half number yesterday – a clearer picture of the changing landscape in North America can be seen. Ports on the East Coast outperformed their West Coast competitors in the first half, with East Coast throughput volume growing 5.1% to 9.1 million and West Coast ports seeing volumes grow 3.7 versus the first half of 2013. The East Coast snatched up 0.3% more of total North America throughput volume as a result. Read more here.
(Cameron Adams – Waterloo Region Record)
Globalization has been a part of our lives since the days when Vasco da Gama first sailed to India in the 1490s.
Trade has had its benefits, but in its latest incarnation, globalization has had negative consequences for working people in advanced economies.
Productivity has been rising faster than wages due, in part, to the reduction of capital controls, which allow corporations to offshore production while maintaining market access. This has tilted the balance of bargaining power away from working people. Read more here.
(Sofia News Agency)
The EU may file legal action the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the Russian food embargo, according to EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht.
De Gucht said in an interview for German newspaper Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung that the complaint was being prepared and it could be filed in mid-September, adding that no final decision had been made on the step.
The polish government is said to be particularly insistent on the need for a WTO action against Russia, while other EU Member States and the European Commission are said to have reacted cautiously to the proposal, fearing further escalation of the tensions. Read more here.
The federal government is happy to hear Saskatoon businesspeople want to see real free trade in the country, says Maxime Bernier, Minister of State for small business, tourism and agriculture.
The federal MP was in Saskatoon Thursday for roundtable meetings with the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce and tourism industry representatives. Read more here.
Time Extension for Government Responses to Subsidy Request for Information – Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods
In regards to the ongoing investigation with respect to the alleged injurious subsidy of certain oil country tubular goods, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has, today, extended the time permitted for the governments of India, Indonesia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam to respond to the subsidy request for information.
In light of the growing number of requests for extension, as well as the related complexities raised to date in respect of this investigation, the CBSA will extend the due date for receipt of government responses to the subsidy Request For Information (RFI) until September 10, 2014.
Please note that this extension must be respected in order for the CBSA to complete its investigation both thoroughly and expeditiously within its legislated timeframes.
European concerns over environment, sovereignty may sink deal
EU lawmakers are threatening to block a multi-billion dollar trade pact between Canada and the European Union — a blueprint for a much bigger EU-U.S. deal — because it would allow firms to sue governments if they breach the treaty. [...]
But European consumer and environmental groups say a mechanism in the accord would allow multinationals to bully the EU’s 28 governments into doing their bidding regardless of environmental, labour and food laws and would set a bad precedent for the planned EU-U.S. trade pact. Read more here.
(Corianne Egan – JOC)
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest, spelling the end to an embittered, two-year battle between the two parties and allowing the union to focus on still-unresolved coastwide container talks.
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service announced that a tentative agreement had been reached on Aug. 12, and the ILWU has now ratified the contract with three large grain exporters: Louis Dreyfus Commodities, United Grain Corporation and Columbia Grain. Just over 88 percent of the union voted in favor of the deal, which goes into effect immediately and will last until May 31, 2018. Read more here.
(Ravi Krishnan – Livemint/WSJ)
A number of factors suggest that foreign inflows may not be quite so robust in the near future
India has attracted the maximum amount of foreign institutional inflows among countries in the Asia Pacific region so far this year. But a number of factors suggest that foreign inflows may not be quite so robust in the near future.
The purchase of local stocks by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) has fallen in the past month. Net inflows have totalled about $700 million so far in August compared with fund injections of close to $2 billion in each of the previous two months. Read more here.
(STR Trade Report)
The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is inviting comments through Oct. 27 on the proposed extension of an information collection associated with regulations intended to prevent the introduction of gypsy moth from Canada into non-infested areas of the United States by placing certain inspection and documentation requirements on gypsy moth host material imported from Canada.
Such material includes certain trees with and without roots (e.g., Christmas trees) and shrubs with roots and persistent woody stems, logs and pulpwood with bark attached, bark and bark products, outdoor household articles, and mobile homes and their associated equipment.
Depending on the place of origin of these regulated articles and their destination in the U.S., certain information collection activities are required, including a phytosanitary certificate, certificate of origin, compliance agreement, or signed homeowner statement.
(William Johnson – Daily World)
Saying that Mexican sugar subsidies are giving that country’s sugar mills an unfair trade advantage, the U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed new duties on Mexican sugar.
As a result of this preliminary ruling, a duty deposit will be collected on sugar imports from Mexico until the federal government can complete its investigation and make a final determination in the case.
The federal government will impose a 17% duty deposit on sugar imported from mills operated by the Mexican government. Sugar produced by the Mexican company GAM will see a 2.99% duty deposit and all other Mexican sugar will be subject to a 14.87% duty deposit. Read more here.
Canadian food exporters to Russia will lose this year more than $600 million due to the restrictions on the imports of agrarian produce, introduced by the Russian government, agriculture adviser at the Russian embassy in Ottawa Sergei Strokov said on Wednesday.
“Based on the available information, in the meat exports alone the losses will amount to $600 million, and if we take into account seafood, this figure will be higher,” he told ITAR-TASS. On August 7, in response to sanctions the West imposed on Russia over its stance on the developments in Ukraine, Moscow fully banned the imports of beef, pork, fruit and vegetables, poultry meat, fish, cheeses, milk and dairy products from the European Union countries, from Australia, Canada, Norway and the United States. Read more here.
(Mark Szakonyi – JOC)
Canadian export growth is slated to rise to 4.7% this year and 7.7% in 2015, as global and particularly U.S. demand builds, non-energy shipments rise, and the Canadian dollar weakens, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.
That predicted increase in exports comes after outbound shipment growth of just 2.2% last year compared with 2012, said Dawn Desjardins, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada. Canadian import growth, however, is expected to take a bit longer to heat up, with inbound shipments slated to expand this year only 1% from 2013, following a 1.1% gain last year. Desjardins expects Canadian imports in 2015 to rise 5.1% year-over-year. Global trade volume growth has accelerated, but the pace has been “disappointing” this year. Trade has been expanding at a pace of roughly 2.75% compared to a historical pace of about 4.75%. Read more here.
(Linton Nightingale – Lloyd’s Loading List )
Container operations at the Port of Rotterdam are finally returning to normal following weeks of congestion at Europe’s busiest box port.
A spokesman for Rotterdam’s Europe Container Terminals said that waiting times for both barge and feeder vessels at its terminals had been brought to a minimum, and that the situation had improved significantly in recent weeks.
“Of course we still have our peak periods but as far as we are concerned operations have now returned to normal,” he said. Read more here.