Donald Trump News

06 Feb 2020

US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

©  Mariakray / Adobe Stock

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

02 Feb 2020

Japanese Warship to Patrol Oil Lifeline

File photo: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Takanami (DD 110), front, sails alongside the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) March 9, 2014, in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Cavagnaro)

A Japanese destroyer left for the Gulf of Oman on Sunday amid simmering Middle East tension to guard sea lanes that supply nearly all the oil that powers the world's third-biggest economy."Thousands of Japanese ships ply those waters every year including vessels carrying nine tenths of our oil. It is Japan's lifeline," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the crew at Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo, before they cast off in a ceremony attended by 500 family members and representatives from the United States…

02 Feb 2020

US Lifts Sanctions on COSCO's Dalian Unit

© Anatoly Menzhiliy / Adobe Stock

The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 25 blacklisted two units of COSCO, named after the northeastern Chinese port of Dalian. The move sent worldwide freight costs to record highs and disrupted the global shipping market.The U.S.

27 Dec 2019

Japan Sending Warship, Aircraft to Middle East

File Image: A Japanese naval asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JP Aaron

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday.Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region.If there are any emergencies…

27 Dec 2019

Russia, China, Iran start IO Naval Drills

A russian naval vessel underway at sea (© AdobeStock)

Iran, China and Russia began joint naval drills on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, in what Moscow said was an unprecedented exercise in naval cooperation and training.Waters around Iran have become a focus for international tensions, with the United States exerting pressure for Iranian crude oil sales and other trade ties to be cut off."The message of this exercise is peace, friendship and lasting security through cooperation and unity... and its result will be to show that Iran cannot be isolated…

26 Dec 2019

Russia Says Nord Stream 2 Will Be Ready in Months

(Photo: Gazprom)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would be completed in a matter of months and U.S. sanctions imposed on the project last week would not be "catastrophic".Russia's new gas transit deal with Ukraine would also mollify the impact on Russian gas supplies of U.S. sanctions introduced on the pipeline project, he said.Last week a major contractor suspended work on the Nord Stream 2 project, which is led by Russia's Gazprom, due to U.S. sanctions introduced by U.S.

18 Feb 2020

Allseas Suspends Nord Stream 2 Work

(File photo: Allseas)

Swiss-Dutch company Allseas said last week it had suspended its pipe-laying activities in the Nord Stream 2 Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline in anticipation of U.S. President Donald Trump's signing of a defense policy bill."In anticipation of the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Allseas has suspended its Nord Stream 2 pipelay activities," the company said in a statement dated Dec.

26 Dec 2019

China, Russia, Iran to Hold Naval Drills

File image of a Chinese warship underway. AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China, Iran and Russia will hold joint naval drills starting on Friday in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman, China's defence ministry said on Thursday, amid heightened tension in the region between Iran and the United States.China will send the Xining, a guided missile destroyer, to the drills, which will last until Monday, and are meant to deepen cooperation between the three countries' navies, ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a monthly news briefing.The drill was a "normal military exchange" between the three armed forces and was in line with international law and practices…

22 Dec 2019

$138M Ok'd for Charleston Harbor Project

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

US President Donald Trump approved $138 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project as part of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill in the 2020 Budget.According to a statement from South Carolina Ports Authority, both the Senate and the House voted to approve the appropriations bill this week as part of the fiscal year 2020 funding package, and Trump signed it into law Friday."This enormous step forward means the project is fully funded to completion and on track to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021," it said.S.C.

12 Dec 2019

U.S., China Reach Trade Deal 'in principle'

AdobeStock / © rawf8

The White House has reached a "deal in principle" with Beijing to resolve the 17-month U.S.-China trade war, according to a source briefed on the trade talks.The White House was expected to make an announcement later on Thursday, the source said."The written agreement is still being formulated, but they have reached an agreement in principle," the source said. No details were immediately available.In an attempt to secure a "phase one" trade deal, U.S. negotiators offered to cut…

19 Nov 2019

US Funds $30 million for Coastal Flood Protection

River dredging operations in the State of Louisiana (CREDIT: Port of New Orleans)

The U.S. government's oceans and waterways agency will provide $30 million to improve coastal resilience, officials said, aiming to reduce the impacts of worsening storms, flooding and rising seas in nearly half of U.S. states.Grants through the program are designed to restore or expand coastal wetlands, dunes, reefs, mangroves and barrier islands that are key to coastal protection, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an announcement.Coastlines worldwide are being damaged or threatened by more extreme and destructive weather…

16 Oct 2019

U.S. Frets About Untrackable China Ships with Iran Oil

Stock / © Carabay

The White House is warning Chinese shipping companies against turning off their ships' transponders to hide Iranian oil shipments in violation of U.S. sanctions, two senior administration officials said."We've been messaging very heavily to the shipping companies, you don't want to do this, it's not worth it," said one official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "It's incredibly dangerous and irresponsible behavior."China is the largest remaining buyer of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Tehran's main export. Trump tightened U.S.

14 Oct 2019

Iran Urges Diplomacy, but Decries Tanker Incident

The M/T Sabiti (creditMarineTraffic.com / © Patrick Lawson)

Iran on Monday urged regional powers to use diplomacy to reduce tensions including Yemen's war, but cautioned that an Iranian tanker damaged in the Red Sea last week had been hit by rockets and there would have to be consequences.Addressing a news conference, President Hassan Rouhani reiterated policy towards the Trump administration, ruling out bilateral talks unless Washington returns to a landmark nuclear deal and lifts crippling U.S. economic sanctions.Tensions in the Gulf have risen to new highs since May 2018…

24 Sep 2019

West Coast Ports Urge Trump to Address Trade War

Pic:  Northwest Seaport Alliance

The six largest West Coast ports — Port of Long Beach, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Oakland, Port of Portland, Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma — sent a letter to President Donald Trump to pursue fair and mutually beneficial trade agreements.The letter highlighted their concerns that the long-term impacts of the escalating trade conflict between China and the United States will create irredeemable economic harm to employers, workers, residents and international partnerships…

24 Sep 2019

U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Firms Moving Venezuelan Oil to Cuba

© Marit / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday imposed sanctions on four maritime firms and vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba, amid an acute fuel scarcity in the island that is forcing people to line up for gasoline and public transport.Despite tough U.S. measures against Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, Cuba's state-run oil import and export company Cubametales and other Cuba-based entities "have continued to circumvent sanctions by receiving oil shipments from Venezuela…

05 Sep 2019

Bahamians Struggle in Dorian's Devastating Wake

A file image of Equinor's South Riding Point storage terminal (CREDIT: Equinor)

Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Hurricane Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast, threatening record flooding on Thursday.The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation…

03 Sep 2019

Trump warns China Against Trade Talk Delays

AdobeStock / © Rawf8

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned he would be "tougher" on Beijing in a second term if trade talks dragged on, compounding market fears that ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China could trigger a U.S. recession.The world's two largest economies imposed fresh tariffs on each other on Sunday, ratcheting up a tit-for-tat tariff war that has unsettled financial markets and raised the specter of a global recession. U.S. and Chinese negotiators are due to meet in person in Washington this month, but no date has yet been set.U.S.

30 Aug 2019

Florida Braces for a Hit as Dorian Strengthens

The NOAA National Hurricane Center Storm Cone situation at 1100 hours local on 30 August 2019.

Florida's governor on Friday urged residents in the state to stock up on at least a week's worth of food, water and medicine and to prepare to lose power and cellphone service for days after Hurricane Dorian makes landfall early next week.The slow march and rising intensity of the storm, which is moving in a northwestern direction to the Bahamas, has alarmed forecasters who worry parts of Florida will be walloped by strong winds, a storm surge and heavy rain for an extended period."I think there’s a pretty high degree of certainty that this is going to be a major hurricane…

30 Aug 2019

UK highlights Gulf shipping threats

Trouble on the high seas: tensions grow over Gulf shipping security

(Photo: ©Carabay / Adobe Stock)

The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is to call for more international support to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz when he meets his French and German counterparts later today (Friday, August 31) for talks about Iran. Last month, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait in apparent retaliation for the UK’s seizure in Gibraltar of an Iranian ship accused of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.The UK joined a U.S.-led mission to escort merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz at the start of this month but Germany and France declined to take part…

29 Aug 2019

Hurricane Dorian Builds, Aims for Bahamas, Florida

source: NOAA / National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Dorian took aim at the Bahamas and the Florida coast on Thursday, spurred on by warm Atlantic waters as it threatens to strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 storm.Dorian earlier sideswiped the Caribbean without doing major damage but is expected to strengthen and slam the Bahamas and the southeastern United States with rain, strong winds and life-threatening surf over the next few days, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in an advisory.U.S. President Donald Trump urged Floridians to heed official warnings.

26 Aug 2019

Iran: Oil Sold from Tanker Released by Gibraltar

File Image: the former M/T Grace 1 at sea (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel's owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday.Separately, Tehran - embroiled in a spiralling confrontation with Washington over U.S. sanctions meant to strangle Iranian oil exports - announced that it had deployed a naval destroyer with cruise missiles to help secure Iranian ships.The Iranian government spokesman did not identify the recipient of the oil carried by the Adrian Darya tanker.

21 Aug 2019

Australia Joins U.S.-led Gulf Security Mission

Australia will join the United States in a security mission to protect merchant vessels travelling through key Middle East waterways after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday.Foremost among the areas to be patrolled is the Strait of Hormuz, between Oman and Iran, through which about one-fifth of the world's seaborne crude flows out of the Gulf.Global commodity trading has been rocked in recent months by the seizure of the British tanker and a series of attacks on international merchant vessels that the U.S. and Britain have blamed on Iran, though it denies involvement. Britain this month became the first U.S.

21 Aug 2019

Iran: Waterways Won't be Safe if its Oil Exports

A US Navy fleet oiler on station. CREDIT: USN

If Iran's oil exports are cut to zero, international waterways will not have the same security as before, its president said on Wednesday, cautioning Washington against upping pressure on Tehran in an angry confrontation between the longtime foes.The comment by President Hassan Rouhani coincided with a remark by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Tehran might act "unpredictably" in response to "unpredictable" U.S. policies under President Donald Trump."World powers know that in the case that oil is completely sanctioned and Iran's oil exports are brought down to zero…

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