The World Trade Organization adopted the first worldwide trade reform in its history on Thursday, after years of stalemate, months of deadlock and a final day’s delay following an eleventh-hour objection.
The agreement means the WTO will introduce new standards for customs checks and border procedures. Proponents say that will streamline the flow of trade around the world, adding as much as $1 trillion and 21 million jobs to the world economy. Read more here.
The Canadian government’s lending agency for exporters says falling energy and metal prices will mask healthy Canadian export volumes next year.
Export Development Canada forecasts the value of exports will rise 10 per cent this year, but only six per cent in 2015. Stripping out the impact of sliding prices for resources such as oil, iron ore and copper, export volumes are expected to increase one percentage point to five per cent and stay at that level for several years.
Chief economist Peter Hall says that level of exports is an “up shift” from 2010 and would be the best stretch since before the 2008 economic recession. Read more here.
(Bruce Davis – RubberNews.com)
Importers/marketers of Chinese-sourced passenger and light truck tires are collectively “disappointed” in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision to impose countervailing duties on consumer tires imported to the U.S., but those that have commented are vowing to stay active in the marketplace.
While many importers/marketers have thus far declined to comment, a handful—Giti Tire (USA) Ltd., Horizon Tire Corp. Omni United USA and Sentry Tire Americas among them—did take the occasion to state their cases. Read more here.
(Alex Lennane – The Loadstar)
Shippers concerned about cargo crime at truck parking facilities need to give specific instructions in the contract in order for carriers to be liable for any loss, a Danish court has ruled.
The ruling follows warnings from FreightWatch International that the US has seen a significant rise in thefts involving either the driver’s collusion or a criminal posing as a driver, and that cargo is most vulnerable in the fourth quarter.
The Danish case concerned a shipment of Lego, which the toymaker wanted shipped from its main hub in Jirny, Czech Republic, to consignees in the UK. Lego, while noting in the tender documents that the shipment was “highly branded”, did not give any provision for particular safety precautions that should be taken, and there was no written contract. Read more here.
(Meagan Clark – IB Times)
Heading into the holiday shopping season, Americans are feeling more confident about their personal finances than at any time in the last seven years. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose from 86.9 in October to 88.8 this month, the highest since July 2007 and about 20% higher than this time last year.
Despite stagnant wages, economists say stronger employment growth, falling gasoline prices and stock prices at post-recession highs are cheering up consumers just before the start of holiday shopping. The confidence lift bodes well for economic growth in the final quarter of 2014, since consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S. Read more here.
Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance explored this week in Chile the possibilities of a gradual, and flexible, integration but left aside all possibility of a near future agreement on tariffs.
In this second ministerial meeting in a month, (the first was in Colombia), Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, and with a market protection emphasis, exchanged ideas with Pacific Alliance members Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, which has an open market policy, as to how overcome mistrusts and advance in possible integration in different fields. Read more here.
(Linton Nightingale – Lloyd’s Loading List )
The Pacific Northwest ports of Tacoma and Seattle have urged the president to assign federal mediators to resolve west coast contract negotiations.
In an open letter to US President Barack Obama, chief executives Theodore Fick and John Wolfe of Seattle and Tacoma said mediation is now critical, as the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union have failed to conclude their discussions after seven months.
This uncertainty and delay is not tenable, the port bosses said. Read more here.
(Michael Ramsingh – Seafood News)
Ongoing congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is now impacting the imported seafood trade and setting up a difficult supply situation in time for December’s holiday shopping season.
It was an especially trying time for traders trying to secure their containers from the ports this week, despite the congestion that has plagued the ports all year.
Five carriers said they would be levying “congestion surcharges” ranging from $800 to $1,000 per 40-foot-equivalent container. The carriers said the surcharges were to address several labor related issues that disrupted normal port operations and would begin on November 26. The Federal Maritime Commission said it will review that these surcharges are in compliance with the Commission’s rules and regulations. Read more here.
Canadian dollar plunges almost a full U.S. cent as cartel decides not to cut production
The Canadian dollar plunged almost a full U.S. cent Thursday as oil prices fell below US$70 after the OPEC cartel decided not to cut production.
The loonie was down 0.88 of a cent to 88.12 cents US as the North American price of crude oil fell, trading below $70 US a barrel, the lowest it has been since May 2010. As recently as June it was around $105. Read more here.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has seen an increase in the number of image/titling issues appearing within the CFIA’s Digital Document Store (DDS) when receiving import documentation by fax from importers/brokers. This issue occurs when the system is unable to properly identify and read documents.
To resolve this issue and speed up processing, the CFIA is recommending importers/brokers adhere to specific guidelines when submitting import documentation to the CFIA’s National Import Service Centre (NISC). Adhering to the recommended guidelines will increase the NISC’s ability to locate, confirm receipt and process submitted import documentation more efficiently.
The guidelines can be found here.
If you require further assistance with this issue, please contact the National Import Service Centre (NISC) at 1-800-835-4486.
(Mike Wackett – The Loadstar)
After withdrawing port congestion surcharges last Wednesday – two days after they had been implemented – ocean carrier members of the TSA are preparing to reinstate them for troubled US west coast facilities.
Carriers in the Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement cancelled the surcharges to be applied on all cargo following a challenge from the US Federal Maritime Commission on their legality.
The FMC argued that the surcharges couldn’t be applied to cargo already in transit and on the water. There was also strong criticism from shippers’ councils. Read more here.
(Tim Wallace – CityAM)
Europe’s planned trade deal with the US could help to open the way for more deals with the developing world, the Confederation of British Industry said yesterday.
Although global trade negotiations have ground to a halt, the business group hopes that a wide-ranging Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US could encourage further deals with countries such as China and India.
TTIP “could set the gold standard for other trade agreements around the world”, said the CBI’s Brussels director Sean McGuire. Read more here.
The World Trade Organization postponed adoption of the first global trade reform in its 19-year history on Wednesday, delaying by a day after a last-minute objection from Argentina, diplomats said.
“It’s not a big drama,” WTO chief spokesman Keith Rockwell told reporters.
Diplomats said they expected the meeting to go ahead on Thursday and the reform package to be adopted. But, after repeated pitfalls, nobody could rule out the deal tripping up. Read more here.
As reported in the press yesterday, the latest absurdity regarding the “Buy American” program is that of a new ferry terminal being constructed at the Port of Prince Rupert located just south of the Alaska border. The terminal is owned and operated by Alaska’s Department of Transportation on land leased from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Although situated in Canada because the work is being funded by the by the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. government is insisting that no Canadian iron and steel products can be used in the $15 million project. Click here to read more.
On November 14, 2014, China notified its World Trade Organization (WTO) on its National Food Safety Standard of the Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides in Food as SPS/N/CHN/701. This regulation establishes 223 maximum residue limits (MRLs) for 35 pesticides in foods.
Please find attached the translated version (in English only) of this notification.
If you identify any impacts that these notifications may have on your sector, please advise us by January 5, 2015.
Turkey’s white meat exports – poultry and seafood – increased by 447% in the first nine months, the Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Animal Breeding said on Monday.
Mehdi Eker said: Turkey’s share of Russian imports increased in the first 9 months of the year compared with the same period last year. We predict a further increase next year.” Minister Eker visited The Anadolu Agency’s Editor Desk on Monday and was interviewed by AA editors.
Turkey is a major supplier of food and agricultural produce to Russia with $1.68 billion worth of trade last year. Read more here.