Us Government News

13 Feb 2019

Mnuchin: China Talks "So far, so good"

© windy Li/AdobeStock

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with China went well on Wednesday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an agreement to resolve their trade dispute."So far, so good," he said when asked by reporters on how the meetings in Beijing went. He did not say who he met.Mnuchin said earlier he hoped for "productive" trade meetings as the two countries seek to end a festering dispute that has seen both sides level tariffs at one other.U.S. tariffs on $200…

03 Feb 2019

Venezuela Sanctions to Boost VLCCs

Pic: Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited

US sanctions on Venezuela are likely to change the pattern of crude tanker trade, with long-haul trade replacing the short-haul trade, said Drewry. While the prospective change in trade pattern will favour VLCCs, it will work against Aframaxes.The US government has imposed sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned energy company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) in order to choke Venezuelan oil revenues and oust Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan president.According to Drewry, the sanctions…

29 Jan 2019

AAPA: US Ports Need $4B for Security

Image: American Association of Port Authorities

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)  identified nearly $4 billion in crucial port and supply chain security needs over the next 10 years.That funding level is what’s needed to maintain and upgrade America’s port facilities and ensure they are properly equipped to address new and evolving security challenges, said AAPA in the latest report in its “The State of Freight” infrastructure series.“The State of Freight IV” is the fourth report in as many years, conducted by AAPA…

25 Jan 2019

Global Shipping Rates Slump

© abbit75_fot / Adobe Stock

Freight rates for dry-bulk and container ships, carriers of most of the world's raw materials and finished goods, have plunged over the last six months in the latest sign the global economy is slowing significantly.The Baltic Dry Index, measure of ship transport costs for materials like iron ore and coal, has fallen by 47 percent since mid-2018, when a trade dispute between the United States and China resulted in the world's two biggest economies slapping import tariffs on each other's goods.Dry-bulk commodities are taken as a leading economic indicator…

24 Jan 2019

Offshore Terminal Plan Slowed by U.S. Shutdown

© freshidea/AdobeStock

The U.S. government shutdown has delayed Enterprise Products Partners LP's plan to build a major U.S. crude export terminal off Houston, blocking the pipeline operator from filing paperwork with U.S. regulators, an executive said on Wednesday.Enterprise plans to file a 10,000-page permit application with the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard as soon as the U.S. government reopens. It takes about a year for regulators to process an application for a deep-water terminal."Tell me when the government opens and I'll tell you when it happens…

23 Jan 2019

US Shutdown Impacts Shipping: North P&I Club

Image: North of England P&I Club

US Coast Guard and other federal agencies are operating at a reduced capacity following US government shutdown, said North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association (North P&I Club).Since 21 December 2018, the US Government has been in shutdown following the failure of Congress to agree federal funding. With no end in sight, it is the longest shutdown in US history, it said."We have not received any indications as yet that the shutdown is causing significant disruption to shipping," said a statement from North P&I Club.

18 Jan 2019

U.S. Government Shutdown: Assessing the Impact on Maritime

Family and friends met aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf's flight deck to reunite with Bertholf crewmembers following the cutter's return home to Alameda, Calif., after a 90-day deployment, Sept. 4, 2018. Bertholf is one of four 418-foot National Security Cutters homeported in Alameda. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty  Family and friends met aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf's flight deck to reunite with Bertholf crewmembers following the cutter's return home to Alameda, Calif., after a

On December 22, 2018, a continuing resolution passed by Congress to fund a portion of the U.S. Government into the 2019 fiscal year expired and was not renewed resulting in a partial federal government shutdown. Among the affected Executive Departments are the Department of Homeland Security (which includes the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection), the Department of Transportation (which includes the Maritime Administration), the Department of Interior (which includes the Bureau of Environment and Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM))…

10 Jan 2019

U.S. Forecaster Sees 65 pct Chance of El Niño in Spring

There is a 65 percent chance of an El Niño weather pattern emerging during the northern hemisphere spring this year, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday."However, given the timing and that a weak event is favored, significant global impacts are not anticipated during the remainder of winter, even if conditions were to form," the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) added in its monthly forecast.Last month, the weather forecaster pegged the chances of the El Niño emerging at 60 percent during spring 2019.The last El Niño, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years…

04 Jan 2019

A Record-Low Start to Ice the New Year in Antarctica

Figure 1: Sea ice extent for January 1, 2019 (Photo: NSIDC)

As of January 1, 2019, Antarctic sea ice extent had experienced several days of record lows. These record-low extents, which followed a period of rapid ice loss in December, exemplify the high seasonal and year-to-year variability in Antarctic sea ice. With six to eight weeks remaining in the melt season, it remains to be seen whether the present situation will persist and lead to a record-low annual minimum. A discussion of Arctic conditions will be posted next week.Overview of conditionsOn January 1…

15 Dec 2018

BOEM "Blown Away" by Record U.S. Offshore Wind Auction

 A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting bids totaling more than $400 million from European energy giants including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA.. Photo: 
© benoitgrasser/AdobeStock

A U.S. government auction for three wind leases off the coast of Massachusetts ended on Friday with record-setting bids totaling more than $400 million from European energy giants including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Equinor ASA.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the sale's three winners - Equinor Wind US LLC, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Vineyard Wind LLC, at the conclusion of the two-day sale that attracted 11 bidders and lasted 32 rounds.Mayflower is a joint venture owned by Shell and EDP Renewables, a division of Portugal's EDP.

11 Dec 2018

Arctic Posts Second Warmest Year On Record in 2018 -U.S. NOAA

Photo: NOAA

The Arctic had its second-hottest year on record in 2018, part of a warming trend that may be dramatically changing earth's weather patterns, according to a report released on Tuesday by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration."Arctic air temperatures for the past five years have exceeded all previous records since 1900," according to the annual NOAA study, the 2018 Arctic Report Card, which said the year was second only to 2016 in overall warmth in the region.It marks the latest in a series of warnings about climate change from U.S.

04 Dec 2018

Interview: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, United States Coast Guard

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz visits with Coast Guard crews stationed in
New York City. U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was offered the opportunity to interview Admiral Karl Schultz, the 26th Commandant in the history of the United States Coast Guard, in his office in Washington, DC. Just five months into his tenure, his plate is predictably full with a number of challenges, including: Attracting and retaining future U.S. Coast Guard personnel; addressing a number of assymetric threats, including cyber attacks; and ensuring captial and operating budgets are adequate to safely and efficiently carry out a global mission envelope, to name but a few.

09 Nov 2018

DSC Dredge CEO Wetta Delivers Ghana Fact-Finding Trip Report

Bob Wetta, President and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC, right, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during PAC-DBIA. (Photo: DSC Dredge)

As a member of the President’s Advisory Council – Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), Bob Wetta attended the September 26, 2018 Fact-Finding Trip Report meeting in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and 13 other U.S. Government officials. Their purpose was to deliberate and adopt the final report of the 2016-2018 term of the PAC-DBIA. Prepared by IBM’s Takreem El-Tohamy, but unfortunately unable to attend the meeting, Bob Wetta presented the Ghana information…

05 Oct 2018

US Actively Considering Waivers on Iran Oil Sanctions

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

The United States is "in the midst of an internal process" of considering sanctions waivers for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a U.S. government official said on Friday.The Trump administration, which withdrew from a deal over Tehran's nuclear program in May, is reimposing sanctions on Iran's crude oil consumers on Nov. 4. The government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, called the exceptions SRE waivers, also known as significant reduction exemptions.(Reporting by Timothy Gardner Editing by Marguerita Choy)

15 Sep 2018

USCG Navigation Center: Steering a steady course for safe, secure, efficient waterways

Coast Guard Cutter Cypress at sunset. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff, U.S. Coast Guard District 8.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Center (NAVCEN) is involved in a number of activities that have an impact on all Americans, even if they don’t realize it.From motorists checking directions with their Global Positioning System (GPS) to boaters to ships coming and going to U.S. ports, the NAVCEN plays an unseen but vital role.With a staff of19 officers, 17 enlisted personnel and 19 civilians, NAVCEN falls under the Director of Marine Transportation Systems (CG-5PW) at USCG Headquarters…

14 Sep 2018

Kings Point Alumni Release Commemorative Video

Video marks Academy's 75th year and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.Alumni of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) released an inspiring video to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the institution and memorialize midshipmen who have died in service to the nation. Over the summer, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (USMMA-AAF) has been executing a multi-faceted campaign to mark the federal academy's decades of service and the foundational role it plays…

03 Aug 2018

Croatia Extends LNG Terminal Gas Bidding Deadline

A deadline for bids on output from a planned offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to be built on Croatia's northern Adriatic island of Krk has been extended until Sept. 28, developers LNG Croatia said on Friday.Demand will dictate the capacity of the 250 million euro terminal, which is part of EU-led efforts to diversify away from Russian energy imports.The deadline on bidding for output was Aug. 3 but was delayed on requests from potential customers who are still in negotiations, LNG Croatia said.The European Commission this week said it had earmarked 124 million euros for the project which will supply gas to countries in eastern and central Europe…

30 Jul 2018

VT Halter Marine Taps Baczkowski as CEO

Pascagoula, Miss. shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. announced it has appointed Ronald Baczkowski as president and CEO with immediate effect.Baczkowski joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980 and retired with the rank of Brigadier General in 2012. He had held various command and staff appointments directing high-level strategic initiatives with impact on tens of thousands of troops. He joined VT Systems in 2016 and was mostly recently Vice President of Business Development. Before that from 2013-2015, he was Chief Operating Officer of Angarai International Inc, a professional management consulting firm; and Senior Program Manager at Engility Corporation…

16 Jul 2018

New Oil Spill Tech Solutions Put to the Test

A rotocraft equipped with a thermal infrared sensor captured images of emulsified oil to validate the sensor’s capabilities during the NOAA and BSEE funded remote sensing test. Image: Courtesy Ohmsett

No two oil spill response operations are the same. Each can present new and even tougher challenges for spill responders as they detect, contain and recover spilled oil. Diverse aspects affecting oil spill response operations can be the physical environment, spill monitoring, use of chemical dispersants, and the availability of proper technology for the situation.Some challenges have been met through research and technology development of techniques for dealing with spills. However…

08 Jul 2018

Cosco Shipping Gets US 'Go-Ahead' for OOCL Deal

Photo: Cosco Shipping

China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co received the clearance  of a U.S. national-security review body, removing a major overhang of the USD 6.3 billion deal of taking over Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOCL). According to a Reuters' report, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified it that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party. Cosco said the U.S.

09 Jul 2018

OP/ED: The 2020 Sulfur Cap – Growing Pains or Mass Hysteria?

Kathy J. Metcalf, President & CEO at the Chamber of Shipping of America

At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2018, the global shipping industry will be expected to comply with the IMO agreed upon 0.5% sulfur cap for bunker fuels with few waivers available.For vessels which have installed scrubbers, higher sulfur fuels may continue to be used. IMO’s recent agreement on the ban of carriage of non-compliant fuel assures that cheating will not be allowed providing that port states integrate this ban into their respective port state control inspection programs.All that said…

20 Jun 2018

Vard's Houston VP Lind to to Retire

Bill Lind (Photo: Vard Marine)

Bill Lind, current vice president of Vard Marine’s Houston operations, has announced his plans to retire from the company at the end of June.Lind has led the Houston team since 2013 and has transformed the office into a key contender in the marine engineering industry in the Gulf Coast and in U.S. government programs. He was also instrumental in expanding Vard Marine’s clientele base and helping to mold the Houston office into what it is today.Moving forward, Vard Marine has announced that Darren Truelock…

19 Jun 2018

What Can Beijing Do if China-US Trade Row Worsens?

© Dmitry V. Petrenko / Adobe Stock

China and the United States sank into a deepening trade conflict that roiled financial markets Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of starting a trade war.Trump said Monday his threat was retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods over the weekend, a move that itself was in response to additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Feb 2019 - Ferry Builders

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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