Broad-based expansion sees almost every sector showing growth
Canada’s economy expanded by 0.4 per cent in May, a sharp improvement from 0.1 per cent the month before.
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that Canada’s GDP has expanded for five straight months. On an annualized basis, the economy is growing at a 2.3 per cent pace. The expansion was broad-based, as most industries showed growth. Read more here.
Related:How to Live with a Slow-Growth Economy (Financial Post)
(John Ibbitson – Globe & Mail)
Forget the Senate scandal: the Conservatives are on the brink of an even greater fiasco, one that could tarnish Stephen Harper’s legacy and brand this Conservative majority government a failure. Worse, far worse, it puts APTA at risk.
Forgive me: in a world filled with acronyms, I’ve just invented another, and it’s for something that doesn’t even exist yet. But APTA represents the world’s best possible future, and it hinges on Canada and Germany coming to terms.
Last year, this country and the European Union signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. The deal is vitally important to both sides. The Harper government is determined to make Canada’s vertical (Canada-U.S.) trading economy more horizontal (Canada-Europe and Canada-Pacific). CETA is the first step in that transformation. Read more here.
(Claire Brownell – Financial Post)
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has named the team that’s going to oversee the construction and operation of the new Detroit-Windsor bridge, the Canadian government’s strongest indication yet that it is determined to make the biggest public-private partnerships in Canadian history a reality.
At a Wednesday morning press conference in Windsor, Ms. Raitt and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder introduced the board members of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, a newly created Canadian Crown corporation, and of the International Authority, an oversight body with equal representation from Canada and Michigan. The two organizations will oversee the bidding process for $4-billion in contracts to build and operate the span, connecting highways, tolls and other infrastructure for an opening date in 2020 — assuming everything goes according to plan. Read more here.
Building of New U.S. Canadian Bridge Moving Forward with New Authority (Transport Authority)
U.S. Needs to Step Up on Detroit-Windsor Bridge Project: Gov. (Toronto Sun)
The European Union formally adopted sanctions on Thursday curbing arms sales to Russia and cutting off financing for targeted banks over Moscow’s support for rebels in Ukraine.
Russia has denounced the measures, agreed by the 28 EU member states on Tuesday, as “destructive and short-sighted”, while fighting has intensified in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and the pro-Russian separatists. Read more here.
(Wall Street Journal)
A tanker of oil from Texas set sail for South Korea late Wednesday night, the first unrestricted sale of unrefined American oil since the 1970s.
How that $40 million shipment avoided the nearly four-decade ban on exporting U.S. crude is a tale involving two determined energy companies, loophole-seeking lawyers, and an unprecedented boom in American drilling that could create a glut of ultralight oil.
The Singapore-flagged BW Zambesi is the first of many ships likely to carry U.S. oil abroad under a new interpretation of the federal law that bars most sales of American oil overseas. Analysts say future exports appear wide open: as much as 800,000 barrels a day come from just one of the many U.S. oil fields pumping light oil. Read more here.
(Mike Wackett – The Loadstar)
Seaspan’s CEO Gerry Wang was in bullish mood yesterday, as the latest data by Alphaliner showed that the company had overtaken Claus Peter Offen to become top of the non-operating owner league.
With a current managed fleet of 75 container ships ranging from 2,500teu to 13,100teu, and the largest newbuild programme in the industry, of 14 ships of between 10,000teu and 14,000teu, Alphaliner said it expected Seaspan to remain at the top of the NOO league “for the next few years”. Read more here.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has today concluded a re-investigation of the normal values, export prices and amounts of subsidy of certain thermoelectric containers originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China, pursuant to the Special Import Measures Act (SIMA). Complete details are available here.
Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada’s Minister of Transport and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced appointments to the International Authority which will oversee the construction of the new publicly-owned bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.
Mrs. Kristine Burr and Mrs. Geneviève Gagnon have been appointed by Canada and Mr. Michael D. Hayes, Mrs. Birgit, M. Klohs and Mr. Matt Rizik have been appointed by Michigan. Mrs. Burr will also serve as the Chairperson of the International Authority. A third Canadian member will be selected by the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) in the near future.
Minister Raitt also announced today appointments to the Board of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority. Mr. Michele “Michael” Cautillo P.Eng., M.Eng., has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mark McQueen as Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and Mr. William Graham and Mrs. Caroline Mulroney Lapham as Directors. Read more here.
(Tae-jung Kang – The Diplomat)
North Korea exported massive amounts of rare earth elements (REEs) to China in recent months, a report from a South Korean-based trade organization said this week.
According to a report published this week by the Korea International Trade Association, in May and June of this year Pyongyang exported 62,662 kilograms of REEs to China for $1.8 million. The report said that Pyongyang’s REE exports to China totaled $550,000 in May and $1.3 million in June. […]
Japan-based pro-North Korea media outlet Choson Sinbo reported in March that REEs are plentiful across North Korea, with the country holding almost a billion tons of them. The report also claimed that North Korea’s REEs are relatively easy to mine and develop, and that Pyongyang has been eagerly exploring ways to do so recently. Read more here.
(STR Trade Report)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) have signed a statement of intent to form a partnership to promote the safety of fresh and minimally processed agricultural products. According to an FDA statement, this partnership will include collaboration with the private sector and will focus on preventive practices and verification measures for the production of safe produce, including:
- exchanging information to better understand each other’s produce safety systems;
- developing effective cultural-specific education and outreach materials that support industry compliance with produce safety standards;
- identifying common approaches for training auditors who will verify compliance with such standards; and
- enhancing collaboration on laboratory activities as well as outbreak response and traceback activities.
The FDA notes that Mexico is the leading exporter of FDA-regulated human foods into the U.S. and that leading categories include fresh vegetables ($4.6 billion); fresh fruit, excluding bananas ($3.1 billion); wine and beer ($1.9 billion); and snack foods, including chocolate ($1.5 billion).
(Robert Bowman – Forbes)
U.S. importers have bought themselves another two years before they must implement a container-scanning rule that they believe should be scrapped altogether.
Mandated by the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the Department of Homeland Security issued a requirement that 100 percent of U.S.-bound ocean containers be scanned at the foreign port of origin. Since then, Congress and DHS have been kicking the can down the road, repeatedly delaying implementation of a rule that industry says is unworkable. The latest move puts off action until 2016.
But that’s not good enough for scores of industry associations representing everything from agricultural products to footwear, cookware, alcoholic beverages, chemicals, toys, explosives, Halloween costumes and turkeys. (Joining them were groups representing freight forwarders and customs brokers.) In a June 2 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, they called for repeal of the mandate, along with a new focus on “practical supply chain security solutions.” Read more here.
(Benjamin Goad –The Hill)
The federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected a challenge to the Agriculture Department’s meat labeling rules, delivering the latest in a series of blows to industry groups that oppose the regulations as needlessly burdensome.
Upholding previous rulings, the court let stand the department’s country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for cuts of meat. The regulations could still face obstacles before the World Trade Organization (WTO), which has been weighing whether the regulations comply with international standards.
Still, Tuesday’s ruling bodes well for the requirements, which the American Meat Institute (AMI) and other industry challengers assailed as unnecessary in the appeals court proceedings. Read more here.
Canada’s Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will be in Windsor on Wednesday.
The minister’s office says the duo “will make an important announcement regarding the Detroit River International Crossing.”
A new $1 billion bridge linking west Windsor and the Delray community of west Detroit has been agreed upon and is in the works. Read more here.
(Sydney Ember – DealBook)
A new front has opened in the battle over Bitcoin.
Since New York became the first state to propose virtual currency regulations two weeks ago, Bitcoin enthusiasts have had a mixed reaction on whether the new rules will help legitimize the virtual currency or whether they will thwart innovation and threaten the very freedom that Bitcoin was meant to promote. The draft legislation has also exposed a division among virtual currency companies with enough resources to comply with the regulations and those without. Read more here.
By ramping up sanctions on Moscow in response to its persistent destabilisation of Ukraine, the US and its European allies are closing a chapter in their relationship with post-communist Russia. They are recognising the breakdown of a 25-year effort to forge constructive ties with a state whose behaviour, it was once hoped, would depart from the suspicious self-isolation of the communist era. Read more here.
Related: U.S., EU announce new sanctions against Russia (CBC News)
(Bloomberg – Livemint/WSJ)
Modi promised that under his leadership, India would be open for business, but there’s little sign of it so far
India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to give the stalling Indian economy a good, firm push. Under his leadership, he said, India would be open for business. There’s little sign of it so far. Last week, India’s negotiators dismayed trade ministers around the world by threatening to block a global trade deal—one that’s very much in India’s interests—unless they get their way in a separate dispute over farm subsidies. And though Modi has been in office a mere two months, this isn’t the first such letdown. The self-defeating brinkmanship on trade followed a pretty timid business-as-usual budget. Optimism over Modi is evaporating fast. Read more here.
(New York Times)
The United States and Europe put aside their differences and agreed Monday to sharply escalate economic sanctions against Russia amid worries that Moscow is stepping up its intervention in Ukraine and may be setting the stage for an outright invasion.
After months in which European leaders resisted going as far as the Americans, the two sides settled on a package of measures that would target Russia’s financial, energy and military sectors. In some cases, the Europeans may actually leapfrog beyond what the United States has done, forcing Washington to catch up. Read more here.
(James Ftiz-Morris – CBC News)
Canadian officials are quietly preparing a ceremony to formally mark the successful conclusion of EU trade deal negotiations, but Germany says it’s too early to know what the final text will look like.
Officials acknowledge the negotiations aren’t quite completed, but International Trade Minister Ed Fast’s office said Monday “excellent progress is being made.”
A German newspaper kicked off of a flurry of speculation over the weekend by quoting unnamed German officials saying Europe’s leading economy would refuse to sign the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada due to certain contentious provisions concerning investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) regulations. Read more here.
Related: The Canada-EU Free Trade Deal is Still Very Much Alive (Globe & Mail)
The Conference Board says Canadians are getting increasingly pessimistic about the economy and the availability of jobs — except if they are in the booming West.
The think-tank’s consumer confidence survey for July slid one point to 85.9 per cent in July, the third month in a row that it has fallen.
The big reason, says the Conference Board, is that there’s still a significantly large number of people who see the jobs picture darkening going forward with 22.7 per cent saying they expect fewer jobs in the next six months, compared with 15.9 per cent who expect more. Read more here.
(Lucia Mutikani – Reuters)
U.S. economic growth likely rebounded in the second-quarter from a winter-induced slump at the start of the year and will probably continue to gather momentum through the rest of 2014.
Gross domestic product likely grew at a 3.0% annual rate, according to a Reuters survey of economists, lifted by an acceleration in both consumer spending and stock accumulation by businesses. Read more here.