The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Yair Lapid, Minister of Finance of the State of Israel, yesterday signed a Declaration of Intent to begin negotiations on a customs Mutual Recognition Arrangement between the two countries.
The Canada Border Service Agency’s Partners in Protection program and the Israel Tax Authority’s Authorized Economic Operator program both enhance border and trade chain security. Negotiations on a Mutual Recognition Arrangement between both programs are expected to begin in November 2014.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Western sanctions against Russia violated the principles of the World Trade Organization and the main way to combat them was to develop the domestic market.
At a meeting with senior officials, Putin said to achieve this, it was necessary to create a competitive environment for business financing, including creating more accessible loans. Read more here.
The South Korean government said Thursday it will increase the budget spending next year and run a wider fiscal deficit than expected to bolster economic growth that faces challenges from slow global recovery and weak domestic demand.
Government spending will rise by 5.7% to KRW 376 trillion the next year, the finance ministry said in its budget proposals. The estimated spending growth is higher than the 4% projected for 2014 and will lift the 2015 fiscal deficit to 2.1% of gross domestic product. Read more here.
The U.S. Federal Reserve renewed a pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” but it issued projections that suggested it may raise borrowing costs quicker than it had been thinking a few months ago.
Many economists and traders had expected the central bank to alter the rate guidance it has provided since March, given generally improving data on the economy’s performance.
But the Fed repeated its assurance that rates would stay ultra-low for a “considerable time” after a bond-buying stimulus programme wraps up. In a statement after a two-day meeting, it announced a further $10bn reduction in its monthly purchases, leaving the programme on course to close next month. Read more here.
Canadian National Railway will be fined for failing to comply with an order that it move a minimum amount of grain each week, a spokeswoman for federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said Wednesday in a move that caught the railway by surprise.
“As CN was not able to meet the minimum volume requirements (under the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act), the minister has decided to issue administrative monetary penalties to the company,” press secretary Jana Regimbal said in an email. “The penalty is up to $100,000 per week and that is up to the minister’s discretion,” Regimbal added, noting it was the first such fine under the act.
It was unclear what time frame was involved in imposing penalties under the act, which was passed last spring amid complaints that CN and rival CP Rail were providing poor services to western grain farmers. Read more here.
The growing problem of UK driver shortages – already threatening Christmas cargo deliveries – has been taken up by an MP, former haulier Andrew Bridgen.
“We’ve got to get people involved in this industry. With the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Freight Transport Association (FTA) we are going to lobby to help recruitment next week,” said Tory MP for North West Leicestershire.
“We need to pay more for training to get people into logistics. We need to be more proactive.” Read more here.
China will ban the import and local sale of coal with high ash and sulfur content starting from 2015 in a bid to tackle air pollution, with tough requirements in major coastal cities set to hit Australian miners.
China imported about 54 million tonnes of Australian thermal coal and another 13 million tonnes from South Africa in 2013 – most of which would not meet the proposed restrictions on ash and content.
The policy, previously reported by Reuters, comes as prices on the Global Coal Newcastle index slump to a five-year low amid a supply glut and slowing demand from China, the world’s top importer. Read more here.
Last week, Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) introduced a bill in the House that aims to provide increased protection against the threat of terrorists smuggling dangerous materials into the country through shipping containers.
The Scan Containers Absolutely Now (SCAN) Act would allow select U.S. ports to receive federal funds for advanced inspection technology to implement 100% scanning of incoming shipping containers for radiological, nuclear and other potentially dangerous materials.
“Since September 11, 2001, our nation has taken great strides in ensuring our airports are secure, but living near the Port of Los Angeles, I know that our nation’s ports are not as secure as they should be,” Hahn said in a statement. “Top security experts recommend that shipping containers entering our ports be scanned, but 13 years later we only scan 3% of incoming cargo. This is unacceptable.” Read more here.
The Bank of Canada said it will continue to take a hands-off approach to influencing the Canadian dollar, saying it can’t replace markets in determining the level of the loonie.
Targeting the exchange rate would see the bank lose its ability to pursue an independent monetary policy and cause more harm than good, governor Stephen Poloz said Tuesday in a speech to business leaders.
“A floating loon is a thing of beauty, and so is a floating loonie, at least from this economist’s perspective,” he said. Read more here.
Obama administration officials are concerned about the legality of a ban on oil exports and have begun discussing how to deal with potential challenges from nations that want to buy U.S. crude, two sources said.
Officials in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the National Security Council have each held internal talks about potential free-trade challenges from South Korea and NATO allies, two sources familiar with the matter said. Read more here.
(Craig Wong – Global News)
Canada’s manufacturing sector posted record sales for July and topped expectations as it gained 2.5%.
Statistics Canada said Tuesday that manufacturing sales for July, the first month of the third quarter, totalled $53.7 billion – beating the previous record of $53.2 billion set in July 2008. Economists had expected a gain of 1%, according to Thomson Reuters.
TD Bank economist Brian DePratto said “manufacturers started the third quarter with a bang.” Read more here.
(Barrie McKenna – Globe & Mail)
Canadian ship owners and their crews say Ottawa negotiated a lopsided trade deal with Europe that could eventually put thousands of jobs at risk.
Under the free-trade agreement, key pieces of the highly protected Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River shipping business will be opened up to foreign competition for the first time, with no reciprocal access to the European market.
The complaints mark a rare pocket of domestic opposition to a deal that has enjoyed near-universal support among Canadian business groups. Read more here.
The European Union will urge the World Trade Organization (WTO) to set up a panel of arbiters to examine the claims against Russia’s anti-dumping import duties for light commercial vehicles from Germany and Italy, the WTO told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
Brussels made the decision following bilateral consultations with Russia on June 18 which it said had failed to bridge the gap in the sides’ positions.
The EU should make a formal request for the creation of a panel of arbiters at a meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body on September 26. Moscow can turn it down the first time. But it won’t be able to do so when the body meets again a month later. Read more here.
Container traffic at the Port of Los Angeles last month reached its highest level in four years, according to monthly cargo volumes released by the port Monday.
Imports and exports at the port totaled 757,702 TEUs, a 6.7% increase from the year-ago month and the most units moved since August 2010, the data shows. The report credited “peak season volumes” and larger vessels for the increase in container traffic. Read more here.
Manufacturing sales rose 2.5 per cent to hit an all-time monthly record of $53.7 billion in July, beating the old record that had been set six years ago, before the recession began.
The July gain was mainly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment and primary metals industries, the data agency said. Read more here.
Australia looks set to sign a free-trade agreement with China, the deal expected to be clinched by the end of the year.
The Australian newspaper reported on Monday that the agreement could be finalized around the time of the G20 meeting in Brisbane in November when Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to meet twice that month.
They are scheduled to meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co- operation Forum in Beijing and later in Australia, where Xi will attend the G20 and address parliament. Read more here.
(Gavin van Marle – The Loadstar)
Some of the world’s largest shippers are looking to consolidate their logistics providers into a handful of global companies, according to the latest research from supply chain IT provider Gartner.
Gartner 3PL magic quadrant research evaluates logistics providers’ capacity across a number of key service areas – transport management, freight forwarding, shipment consolidation, warehousing and customs brokerage – and interviewed both major shippers and major 3PLs.
Dave Gonzalez, supply chain research director at Gartner, said: “Around 87% of companies outsource a component of their logistics requirements, and 65% are increasing their 3PL usage. Read more here.
Japan’s auto exports finally may be decoupling from the yen after decades of yo-yoing up and down with exchange rates.
Indeed, despite the most export-friendly currency levels in five years, auto shipments from Japan are in reverse.
Exports by each of Japan’s Big 3 – Toyota, Nissan and Honda – fell in the first seven months of 2014 from year-earlier levels. Read more here.
The Eurozone trade surplus decreased for the second straight month in July, Eurostat reported Monday.
The trade surplus fell unexpectedly to a seasonally adjusted EUR 12.2 billion from EUR 13.8 billion in June. The surplus was forecast to rise to EUR 15.5 billion. Read more here.