China Unveils Retaliatory Tariffs as Dispute Escalates
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…
Austal Christens USS Oakland
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…
US Extends Offshore Wind Tax Credit
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)…
Chao to Receive AOTOS Award
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.
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…
Trump: US-China Trade Talks Haven't Collapsed
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.
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.
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.
Trump to Meet with GOP Senators on Jones Act
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…
Trump, Dems to spend $2 trillion on Infrastructure
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
On the Hill: Advocacy for Domestic Maritime
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…
Trump Warns Saudi Arabia on Oil Prices
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…
Tankers with Venezuelan Oil Collect off US
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.
Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?
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…
Crowley Christens LNG ConRo El Coquí
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.
Port Panama City Update
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.
AWIA/WRDA Overwhelmingly Passes in Senate
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).
Top U.S. Trade Official Sees NAFTA 'breakthrough' in Days
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday said he hopes there will be a breakthrough in NAFTA trade talks in the next few days, as the U.S continues discussions over the North American Free Trade Agreement.Lighthizer made the remarks at White House meeting of President Trump's Cabinet. Trump told Lighthizer he was in no rush for a resolution over the pact: "We’re either going to do a fair NAFTA for us or we're not going to do NAFTA at all."Reporting by Steve Holland
Chinese Tariffs on LNG, Oil May Threaten US Energy Dominance
China's targeting of U.S. liquefied natural gas and crude oil exports opens a new front in the trade war between the two countries, at a time when the White House is trumpeting growing U.S. energy export prowess.China included LNG for the first time in its list of proposed tariffs on Friday, the same day that its biggest U.S. crude oil buyer, Sinopec, suspended U.S. crude oil imports due to the dispute, according to three sources familiar with the situation.On Friday, China announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S.
White House Escalates China Trade Dispute in hopes for Early Solution: Kemp
The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November.U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 percent.The levies are…
Trump Bets on New European LNG Terminals
U.S. President Donald Trump expects the European Union to fund 9 to 11 liquefied natural gas (LNG) ports to absorb "vastly" more shipments from the United States but current EU investment in new projects will only help open small markets.In a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on Monday, Trump said part of the U.S.-EU trade talks sought to expand America's reach into the continent's gas markets which were awash in Russian supply."And we are already talking to the European Union about building anywhere from 9 to 11 ports…
MACC is Definitely Back
Even Mother Nature Can’t Dent the Enthusiasm at this Year’s MACC.Curtis Bay, MD: On the morning after the Baltimore, MD area received a record 3.5 inches of torrential rain in just 90 minutes, this year’s Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC) kicked off without a hitch at the United States Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, MD. That may sound easy, but for those flying in Tuesday afternoon (or like myself, driving in through DC at exactly the moment that the George Washington Parkway flooded badly near the DCA Airport)…
U.S.-China Trade Battle Heats Up
Dueling tariffs raise fears of long A U.S.-China trade fight resulting in duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports was seen dragging on for a potentially prolonged period, as Washington and Beijing flexed their muscles with no sign of negotiations to ease tensions.Friday marked the start of the U.S. duties that were promptly met with retribution by China, as Beijing accused the United States of triggering the "largest-scale trade war."The escalating fight between the…