(Finbarr Bermingham – IB Times)
The UK government has no plans to exclude the NHS, or any other public service, from the free trade agreement which is being negotiated between the EU and US.
Speaking to journalists today, Trade Minister Lord Livingston said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would not have any impact on the NHS and, therefore, the UK negotiation team will not be pushing for its exclusion.
“The idea that this will lead to privatisation of the NHS is not true,” Livingston said, adding that individual procurement groups will make decisions over whether to use US healthcare providers and that should TTIP come into effect, “the NHS will still look like it does today”. Read more here.
Related: New Global Trade Deal: Cheaper Products But a Threat to the NHS? (DailyMirror)
Russia is not planning on leaving the World Trade Organization, but instead will use the organization’s instruments to protect the country’s interests, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
“In regard to reciprocal measures, in case there is a new wave of anti-Russian sanctions, I won’t even begin to argue or fantasize because everything needs to be taken into account. And once we understand what our American and European colleagues will honor us with this time, and only then [we] will make a decision on how we should respond,” Lavrov said.
“We will continue as always to base this on our own interests: protect our economy, protect our social sphere, protect our citizens, business and at the same time make a conclusion from the actions of our partners on their adequacy, their ability to negotiate and their reliability,” he said. Read more here.
South Korea ranked eighth in terms of global trade volume during the first half of 2014, one notch higher than the previous year, a report showed Sunday.
According to the report by the Institute for International Trade, a research agency, South Korea’s trade volume came to US$546.4 billion during the January-June period.
The amount is the eighth largest among the 71 major countries surveyed by the agency. Read more here.
The trucking industry’s marketing catchphrase for years has been, “If you’ve got it, a truck brought it.”
But as trucks increasingly sit idle because of a growing shortage of drivers, the slogan might morph to: “If you can’t find it, there were no trucks to bring it.”
Already, there are up to 40,000 truck driver openings going unfilled nationwide, and it’s only going to get worse, said Tommy Hodges, executive board member and former chairman of the American Trucking Associations and owner of Shelbyville-based Titan Transfer Inc., which operates a fleet of 300 long-haul trucks. Read more here.
After three months of negotiations, there is no agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association that represents port employers at 27 West Coast ports. The contract expired July 1, and the parties did reach a tentative agreement on health benefits Aug. 26. The immediate goal is to avoid serious disruption of trade from East Asia that could have deleterious economic effects throughout the West Coast. A longer-term concern, however, is whether a widened Panama Canal will harm the West Coast economy as more shippers shift to all-water routes through the canal to Gulf Coast and East Coast ports. Read more here.
Don’t be surprised if the next time you buy a Japanese product, you discover that instead of “made in China”, the label says “made in Thailand” or “made in Indonesia”.
Japan is looking to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as an investment destination for manufacturing due, in large part, to the rising cost of labor in China.
“China is still a big country with huge potential for the Japanese,” says Yasuhide Fujii, managing partner at consultancy KPMG’s Myanmar office. Read more here.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ueged a strong response to “military aggression and terror” of an estimated 1,000 troops.
The European Union on Saturday warned that the apparent incursion of Russian troops on Ukrainian soil pushes the conflict closer to a point of no return, with new economic sanctions being drawn up to make Moscow reconsider its position.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who briefed a summit of the 28-nation EU’s leaders in Brussels, said a strong response was needed to the “military aggression and terror” facing his country. Read more here.
Traffic crossing the Windsor-Detroit borders is down this year, but you wouldn’t know that from the time it takes to get across.
The Star analyzed a year of border wait time data from the Canadian Border Services Agency. Wait time averages are rising, and many attribute it to a shortage of officers on the Canadian side of the border.
Stan Korosec, director of security and Canadian governmental relations for the Canadian Transit Company, said the delays have prompted the company to send a letter to Steven Blaney, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness. Read more here.
(Karolyn Coorsh – CTV News)
Canada’s premiers say the federal government must step forward with more funding to help provincial governments deal with infrastructure and growing healthcare needs. [...]
Internal trade also dominated Thursday’s talks, as leaders of western provinces struck a new partnership to review rules and regulations that leaders say are barriers to interprovincial trade. 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.
(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.
(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.