White House News

18 Dec 2019

BIMCO: Supply & Demand Trending Off-Balance

Source: BIMCO, Clarksons, IMF

One of the most worrying trends that has developed recently - which will affect shipping demand in the years to come - is the falling trade-to-GDP ratio. The falling ratio can be explained by slowing globaliztation as well as increasing protectionist measures being implemented around the world, spear headed by the US. The raised barriers to trade are here to stay as we enter a new decade, with the shipping industry stuck with the consequences.The trade war is the clearest example of these extra barriers to trade…

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…

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.

15 Oct 2019

OP/ED: Farm Facts

AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

USDA Study Underscores Value of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture.On August 28, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James toured Mel Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois, and held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the importance of the waterways,  agriculture and the U.S. economy. At the event, Secretary Perdue briefed agricultural and waterways stakeholders on a newly released study – Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture – from the U.S.

04 Oct 2019

Kudlow: Trump "open-minded" about U.S.-China Deal Prospects

AdobeStock / © rawf8

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday that the U.S. team was "open-minded" about the outcome of U.S.-China trade talks next week, which will include deputy-level meetings on Monday and Tuesday, with minister-level meetings Thursday and Friday.Kudlow declined to make any predictions about the talks but said that there had been a "softening of the psychology on both sides" in the past month, with the United States delaying some tariff increases and China making some modest purchases of American farm products.Reporting by David Lawder

29 Aug 2019

USDA Releases Powerful Inland Waterways Study

File Image: WCI

WCI/NGFA Urge NESP Infrastructure Project to Move Forward.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S.

23 Aug 2019

China Unveils Retaliatory Tariffs as Dispute Escalates

AdobeStock / © rawf8

China unveiled on Friday retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting an additional 10% on top of existing rates in the latest tit-for-tat exchange in a protracted dispute between the world's top two economies.The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.China's commerce ministry said in a statement it would impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a total of 5…

01 Jul 2019

Austal Christens USS Oakland

Photo: Austal

Austal USA hosted the christening of the future USS Oakland (LCS 24). This is the first of three U.S. Navy ships to be christened at Austal’s state-of-the-art ship manufacturing facility in 2019.Oakland is the 12th of 19 Independence-variant littoral combat ships (LCSs) Austal USA has under contract with the U.S. Navy. The ship’s sponsor, Kate Brandt, a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award the U.S. Navy can give to a civilian, headlined the group of officials…

01 Jul 2019

US Extends Offshore Wind Tax Credit

Image: Government Europa

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued a statement in support of two bills introduced in the U.S. Senate this week, which would both extend the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind energy.The legislation comes at a critical time for offshore wind in America, as energy developers prepare to start construction on the first wave of large-scale projects.The Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act introduced by Senators Markey (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI)…

25 Jun 2019

Chao to Receive AOTOS Award

U.S. Secretary of Transportation, The Honorable Elaine L. Chao (Photo: USDOT)

The United Seamen’s Service  announced that U.S. Secretary of Transportation, The Honorable Elaine L. Chao, will receive the 2019 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award based on her career-long commitment to the maritime industry. The other, previously announced recipients are James Given, President of the Seafarers International Union of Canada; Anil Mathur, President and CEO of Alaska Tanker Corp.; and Joseph Pyne, Chairman of the Board of the Kirby Corporation.The award will be presented at the 50th annual AOTOS gala at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York City, on November 1, 2019.

24 May 2019

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries without required congressional approval.The actions were the latest by the Trump administration as it highlights what it sees as a threat of potential attack by Iran…

14 May 2019

Trump: US-China Trade Talks Haven't Collapsed

AdobeStock / © nightman 1965

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said trade talks with China had not collapsed, characterizing the trade war between the world's two largest economies as "a little squabble."He made the remarks to reporters at the White House as Beijing and Washington ratchet up tensions with tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.Trump indicated negotiators from the two countries were still talking, saying they were having a good dialogue.

02 May 2019

U.S. Dredgers Applaud President for Jones Act Support

Wednesday, 1 May: Late this afternoon, President Donald Trump met with Congressional leaders from the Senate and House to discuss U.S. Maritime Policy. On the table was the Jones Act. President Trump assured the Congressional leaders that he is not seeking any changes to the Jones Act, nor is he seeking any waivers.“President Trump had the Jones Act matters all under control from the get-go”, said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Mr. Trump is all about jobs and national security — he’s never wavered on this.

02 May 2019

Senator Cassidy: No Jones Act Waiver

A Republican U.S. senator on Wednesday said President Donald Trump will not waive rules requiring that only U.S.-flagged ships move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Republican senators said the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for 10 years. Bloomberg News reported last week that Trump was leaning in favor of some kind of waiver.Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, told reporters on a conference call that Trump told Republican lawmakers he would not support a waiver.

30 Apr 2019

Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act

The El Coqui, a U.S. flag ConRo carrier, recently built specifically for the Jones Act Caribbean trades and powered by environmentally friendly LNG. CREDIT: Crowley Maritime

President Donald Trump is set to meet with Republican senators on Wednesday over a proposal to waive rules that only U.S.-flagged ships can move natural gas from American ports to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Northeast.The nearly 100-year-old Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Bloomberg News reported last week the administration was seriously considering waiving the requirements for some energy shipments and that Trump…

30 Apr 2019

Trump, Dems to spend $2 trillion on Infrastructure

The first tows head through the recently completed Olmsted locks on U.S. inland waters. Characterized as a civil engineering feat of equal stature to that of the famed Manhatten project, the new infrastructure is already yielding dividends for inland stakeholders and the nation's economy.  CREDIT: USACE

U.S. President Donald Trump agreed with Democratic leaders on Tuesday to spend $2 trillion on roads, bridges, water, broadband and power grids, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday after a White House meeting.Trump and Democratic leaders are slated to meet again in three weeks to discuss how the "big and bold" plan - which would need the approval of Congress - would be paid for, Schumer told reporters outside the White House.Reporting by Roberta Rampton

07 Mar 2019

On the Hill: Advocacy for Domestic Maritime

File Image: AdobeStock / © sunnyS

Bipartisan Congressional Leaders Highlight Importance of Jones Act, Employing 650,000 Americans incl. Veterans, for National & Economic Security. Following the signing of an Executive Order by President Donald J. Trump to create an easier pathway for veterans to transition into maritime careers in the U.S. Merchant Marine, congressional and maritime leaders convened for two hearings exploring the state of the domestic maritime industry and the role of the Jones Act. These hearings…

25 Feb 2019

Trump Warns Saudi Arabia on Oil Prices

© mattz90/Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned OPEC not to tighten the oil market too much and risk another spike in prices that could harm the global economy – and his re-election campaign in 2020.“Oil prices getting too high,” the president warned in a message posted on Twitter on Monday. “OPEC please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!”The president has kept up a regular commentary on oil prices over the last year and has pressed Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

04 Feb 2019

Tankers with Venezuelan Oil Collect off US

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

A flotilla loaded with about 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.The Trump administration's move to impose sanctions last week was meant to undercut support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by targeting the Latin American nation's oil exports to the United States, the source of most of its foreign revenue.The sanctions aim to block U.S.

05 Nov 2018

Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?

Image credit: USCG / Anthony Soto

Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on how the government should “prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector.” OMB…

22 Oct 2018

Crowley Christens LNG ConRo El Coquí

El CoquĂ­ entering San Juan (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Maritime Corp. on Saturday christened its Commitment Class combination container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ship El Coquí, which is among the first of its kind to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).The Jones Act compliant vessel is the first of two built as part of Crowley’s Commitment Class project and a key new component in the company’s supply chain transformation in the U.S. mainland-Puerto Rico trade. Sister ship Taíno is in the final phases of construction and testing at VT Halter Marine’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.

15 Oct 2018

Port Panama City Update

A five day look at michael's track before heading back out to sea. CREDIT: NHC

In the wake of hurricane Michael, Port Panama City Director Wayne Stubbs issued the following prepared statement:“The Panama City Port Authority has not yet been in contact with all of its employees, but most have been contacted and are safe. Most employees have sustained some damage to their homes, and some have lost their homes.Power was restored to the port on Saturday and internet service should be up by Tuesday.The port sustained damage to many of the buildings, but no damage to its docks, cranes, and equipment.

10 Oct 2018

AWIA/WRDA Overwhelmingly Passes in Senate

File Image: AdobeStock / © SunnyS

Bill now heads to White House for President Trump’s signature.Today, the Senate voted 99-1 in favor of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018/Water Resources Development Act, otherwise known as WRDA 2018. The Bill passed in the U.S. House by unanimous voice vote (435-0) in August.“The passage of WRDA 2018 is a win for the Nation’s towboat operators, freight shippers, ports and labor and conservation groups that rely on an efficient inland waterways system,” said Mike Toohey, President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).

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