China Breaks Its Silence on 90-Day U.S. Tariff Truce

December 5th, 2018
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Wall Street Journal – Updated Dec. 5, 2018 8:41 a.m. ET

BEIJING—China is beginning to flesh out details of a weekend tariff truce with the U.S., after days of vague Chinese statements and a barrage of comments from President Trump and other administration officials.

China’s Commerce Ministry in a statement Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that Beijing on Saturday agreed to a 90-day cease-fire to allow negotiations to take place. The statement, attributed to an unnamed spokesman, said that the negotiations have a “clear timeline and road map” and that China aims to quickly implement “an agreed upon consensus.”

Also this week, key government agencies and China’s supreme court announced tough punishments for infringing on intellectual property—a prominent complaint by the Trump administration.

Together, the moves begin to fill in some of Beijing’s understanding of the agreement between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping. Right after the presidents’ dinnertime parlay, Chinese officials said the two sides agreed to put tariffs in abeyance to negotiate a settlement but offered few other details then and in the days since.

 

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that he believed Mr. Xi “meant every word” in their meeting at the G-20 summit.

“Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina,” he said.

In the meantime, earlier tweets from Mr. Trump, as well as statements from him and top administration officials, have described concessions Beijing purportedly made—including a reduction in tariffs on American-made autos and an agreement to purchase a “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the U.S.

The Commerce Ministry’s statement didn’t mention purchases of agricultural and other products, tariff […]

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China, U.S. declare 90-day halt to new tariffs: White House

December 2nd, 2018
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China, U.S. declare 90-day halt to new tariffs: White House

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – China and the United States agreed to halt additional tariffs in a deal that keeps their trade war from escalating as the two sides try again to bridge their differences with fresh talks aimed at reaching an agreement within 90 days.

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attend a working dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina December 1, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The White House said on Saturday that President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping during high-stakes talks in Argentina that he would not boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent on Jan. 1 as previously announced.

Beijing for its part agreed to buy an unspecified but “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products, the White House said in a statement.

The two sides would also launch new trade talks to address issues including technology transfer, intellectual property, non-tariff barriers, cyber theft and agriculture, it said.

If no deal is reached within 90 days, both parties agreed that the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent, the White House said.

On Sunday, China’s state-run media lauded the “important consensus” reached by the two leaders but did not mention the 90-day deadline.

Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in September. China responded with its own tariffs.

Trump has also threatened to […]

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New PIER PASS Charges Effective November 19, 2018

October 18th, 2018
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The members of the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) today said the revised OffPeak program for providing extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—informally known as PierPass 2.0—is expected to start on Nov. 19, subject to the conclusion of applicable Federal Maritime Commission procedures.

In April, PierPass announced it will overhaul the model used by its OffPeak program for truck traffic mitigation at the two adjacent ports, replacing the current congestion-pricing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime container moves.

For most port users, the new system won’t require new procedures, but rather an adjustment to current procedures. Most companies moving containers through the ports are already registered with PierPass to claim containers moved during Peak (weekday daytime) hours. Under the revised system, they will claim containers moved at any hour.

Because nine of the 12 terminals at the two adjacent ports already use appointment systems, most trucking firms serving the ports are already using these systems. The remaining three terminals, all operated by SSA Marine, are planning to launch their own appointment systems in advance of the implementation. As part of the program update, the terminals have also agreed on common appointment windows and common last appointment times for each shift. As the revised program moves forward, the terminals will consider further common rules and processes to enhance truck efficiency at the ports.

Cargo owners moving containers into and out of the ports by truck gate and who aren’t already registered with PierPass can do so at https://www.pierpass-tmf.org/.

As previously announced, the current Traffic Mitigation Fee of $72.09 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) will be replaced by a new flat fee of $31.52 per […]

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Statement from the President

September 18th, 2018
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By The White House
Issued on: 

Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China.  The tariffs will take effect on September 24, 2018, and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year.  On January 1, the tariffs will rise to 25 percent.  Further, if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.

We are taking this action today as a result of the Section 301 process that the USTR has been leading for more than 12 months.  After a thorough study, the USTR concluded that China is engaged in numerous unfair policies and practices relating to United States technology and intellectual property – such as forcing United States companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts.  These practices plainly constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the United States economy.

For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies.  We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly.  But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.  To counter China’s unfair practices, on June 15, I announced that the United States would impose tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.  China, however, still refuses to change its practices […]

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Trump Hits China With Tariffs on $200 Billion in Goods, Escalating Trade War

September 18th, 2018
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By Jim Tankersley and Keith Bradsher
Sept. 17, 2018

President Trump, emboldened by America’s economic strength and China’s economic slowdown, escalated his trade war with Beijing on Monday, saying the United States would impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods and was prepared to tax all imports.


A carbon fiber production line at a factory in Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. President Trump has ordered a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods, meaning nearly half of all Chinese imports into the United States will face tariffs.CreditCredit.  Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Trump, in a statement released late Monday, showed no sign of backing down from the type of full-blown trade war between the world’s two largest economies that has rattled financial markets, saying he was prepared to “immediately” place tariffs on another $267 billion worth of imports “if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries.”

The tariffs on $200 billion worth of products comes on top of the $50 billion worth already taxed earlier this year, meaning nearly half of all Chinese imports into the United States will soon face levies. The next wave of tariffs, which are scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 24, will start at 10 percent before climbing to 25 percent on Jan. 1. The timing of the staggered increase will partially reduce the toll of price increases for holiday shoppers buying Chinese imports in the coming months.

“For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies,” Mr. Trump said. “We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given […]

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ILA Calls for Ratification Vote

September 6th, 2018
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ILA Calls for Ratification Vote
ILA President Harold Daggett today notified ILA locals covered by the Master Contract that a ratification vote on the proposed Six-Year Contract that was overwhelmingly approved by ILA Wage Scale Committee in early June will take place next Thursday, September 6 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
“As your International President, I am pleased to inform you that on June 7, 2018, the ILA Wage Scale Committee overwhelmingly approved an extension to the Master Contract that will be effective October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2024,” wrote President Daggett.
“The International now seeks your ratification of this agreement,” President Daggett added.
The International has instructed all Locals involved in the ratification vote to make available to its members the terms of the agreement covered in President Daggett’s letter, and sent ILA Locals ballots and tally sheets, as well as the rules of procedure for the contract ratification vote. Locals are to make available to members in good standing for inspection, the membership list before the vote and observe the voting and tallying process.
ILA President Harold Daggett and the ILA Wage Scale Committee strongly encourages a “yes” vote on the six-year extension.
“The ILA has negotiated an extension that not only protects the benefits you already have but also enhances these benefits to ensure that you are compensated appropriately for all your hard work,” said President Daggett in his letter to ILA members. “I am particularly pleased with the jurisdictional protections that the ILA has negotiated that will ensure that your jobs will be preserved in the years ahead. I believe that this proposed extension represents a giant step forward in the collective bargaining history of the ILA.
“Even though I am extremely pleased with the […]

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Big Spike In Containership Lay-ups Mid-Peak Season

August 9th, 2018
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© Kok Keong Ng
By Mike Wackett
09/08/2018

Alphaliner’s bellwether containership idle tonnage data has recorded a big spike in vessels being consigned to lay-up, shifting the supply-demand balance back in favour of the charterer.
The consultant said the capacity of the idle tonnage fleet had risen to 341,000 teu by the end of July, representing 1.6% of the total global cellular fleet. This is a worrying increase for shipowners, not least because this has happened in the middle of the peak season.

Indeed, with the slack season not normally expected until October, Alphaliner said the amount of unemployed tonnage could reach 750,000 teu, or more, by the end of the year.
“Capacity rationalisation moves on the Far East-Middle East and Far East-North America routes are expected to further drive down the active fleet in the coming two months, although this will be partly offset by new service launches on the Australia routes,” said Alphaliner. With ocean carriers carrying forward some $1.2bn of red ink from the first quarter, and many likely to post even worse losses for Q2, the container lines have been under significant pressure to ‘stop the rot’. But with fuel prices still rising and freight rate increases not sufficiently compensating for extra costs, the lines have adopted a ‘slash and burn’ strategy of pulling services, cutting capacity and postponing planned new services. And this means the carriers have not taken up options for charter extensions on ships and instead returned as much tonnage as possible to owners.

The impact has been for brokers of the redundant ships to try to fix cargo on the spot market for as long as possible, but due to a low level of new enquiries, several owners have […]

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Cosco Shipping Operations ‘Back to Normal’ After Ransomware Cyber Attack

July 30th, 2018
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  • Cosco Shipping Operations ‘Back to Normal’ After Ransomware Cyber Attack Cosco Shipping Operations ‘Back to Normal’ After Ransomware Cyber Attack

    Cosco Shipping Operations ‘Back to Normal’ After Ransomware Cyber Attack

Cosco shipping operations ‘back to normal’ after ransomware cyber attack

By Gavin van Marle 30/07/2018
Chinese shipping giant Cosco appears to have largely got its US IT system back to normal following last week’s ransomware cyber attack that left its North American operations crippled.
In a customer advisory from its Shanghai headquarters, Cosco says its “network applications in the Americas have been totally recovered”.
It added: “All communication channels including telephone, email, and electronic data exchange have been restored.
“There has been a further increase in our service response. We are working at full stretch to process all the service requests received previously, and the service response is expected to be back on track within this week.”

A more detailed communique issued by Cosco in the US this morning office advises shippers and forwarders that the company’s email system is back up and running, except at Los Angeles and Long Beach, where customers could continue using the Yahoo email address it set up in response to the attack.
It added that shippers should also use the yahoo address rather than submitting information through the www.cosco-usa.com site, which remained closed “under the premise of ensuring network security”.
Shipping operations had returned to normal levels, Cosco claimed, with no berthing delays at its facilities in the LA-Long Beach port complex, and the release of import containers to hauliers and intermodal operators for shipments into the US hinterland were also back to normal.
And it added: “Meanwhile, the releasing for imported IPI cargo transferred through the US railway companies is back to normal too; we would only ask you to provide the proof of customs clearance to our customer service group email or temporary email addresses.”

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Trump Eyes Even Higher Tariffs As China Trade War Escalates

July 5th, 2018
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Bloomberg News
‎— With assistance by Xiaoqing Pi, Yinan Zhao, Miao Han, Andrew Mayeda, Jennifer Jacobs, Dandan Li, Elizabeth Konstantinova, Slav Okov, and James Mayger

After months of rhetoric, a 25 percent levy on $34 billion of Chinese goods entering the U.S. took effect just after midnight Washington time on Friday with farming plows and airplane parts among the products targeted. China hit back immediately via duties on U.S. shipments including soybeans and automobiles.

Neither side shows any signs of backing down. Trump is already eyeing another $16 billion of Chinese goods, and he indicated to reporters Thursday on Air Force One that the final tariff total could exceed $500 billion, almost the same amount that the U.S. imported in 2017. China’s Commerce Ministry accused the U.S. of “bullying” and igniting “the largest trade war in economic history.”

The first ever U.S. tariffs aimed just at China will likely rally Trump’s voters who agree with his “America First” argument that Beijing hasn’t played fair for years, stealing America’s intellectual property and undercutting its manufacturers.

But the risk is that a spiraling conflict undermines economic growth by gumming up international supply chains and inflicting higher prices on companies and consumers. The Federal Reserve has already noted some firms are slowing investment, while Harley-Davidson Inc. and General Motors Co. are warning they may cut jobs.
Given the moves were widely telegraphed, financial markets took them in stride. U.S. stocks rose and the dollar extended losses. Treasuries gained and gold declined as investors assessed the impact of the escalation in the trade rift.
Hours after the tariffs, the U.S. released jobs figures that showed few signs of any early pressures on employment from the trade tension. U.S. hiring topped forecasts in June, while the […]

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Walmart and JB Hunt join customer list for Tesla’s new all-electric Semi truck

November 20th, 2017
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  • Walmart and JB Hunt join customer list for Tesla’s new all-electric Semi truck Walmart and JB Hunt join customer list for Tesla’s new all-electric Semi truck

    Walmart and JB Hunt join customer list for Tesla’s new all-electric Semi truck

TESLA
By Alexander Whiteman 20/11/2017, The LoadStar

Retail giant Walmart has made tentative steps towards electric trucking with a $5,000 per vehicle deposit for 15 of Tesla’s new Semi trucks.

Launched in California on Thursday, the Semi has yet to be priced – although one analyst told the BBC just the engine could cost $200,000, more than double the price of an entire diesel truck.

Walmart is not alone, or was the first to take a punt on the vehicle: Michigan-based grocery chain Meijer placed an order for four trucks almost immediately after the launch, Canadian grocery company Loblaw put down $75,000 for 25 and JB Hunt said it had made a reservation for “multiple” vehicles.

The US operator became the first haulier to publicly back the Semi, and CEO John Roberts said the vehicles would help its west coast intermodal and contract services divisions.

He added: “Reserving Tesla trucks marks an important step in our efforts to implement industry-changing technology. We believe electric trucks will be most beneficial on local and dray routes, and we look forward to utilising this new, sustainable technology.”

A Walmart spokesperson told the UK Financial Times that five of the 15 vehicles it ordered would be used in US operations, with the remaining 10 destined for its Canadian business.

“We have a long history of testing new technology – including alternative-fuel trucks – and we are excited to be among the first to pilot this new heavy-duty electric vehicle,” said the spokesperson.

“We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chain, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions.”

Tesla may have drawn the crowds, but it wasn’t the only truck […]

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