What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 35

Ports welcome steady performance, despite political uncertainty

The data for 2018 shows stable port freight tonnages overall, with only a 0.1% difference on the previous year at 483.3 m tonnes. However, overall unit load traffic declined; which is likely to be attributed to a decline of port traffic in passenger cars and new trade cars (both imports and exports).

Source: British Ports Association


US to up all China tariffs 5 percentage points

In a series of tweets, Trump said "China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 billion dollars of United States product" and called the move by America's largest trading partner "politically motivated."

This set of tariffs, known as list four, has been in the works for months. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) released details on the list in May, saying the rate could reach as high as 25%. The USTR also held seven days worth of hearings on the tariffs where representatives from a variety of industries voiced disapproval of the tariffs, saying they would disrupt sourcing and threaten margins.

Source: Supply Chain Dive

Japan and US agree to trade deal at G7

President Donald Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on the principles of a trade deal on Sunday at the G7 meeting in France. 

“We’ve been working on a deal with Japan for a long time,” said Trump. “It involves agricultural and it involves e-commerce and many other things.” The deal is expected to open up markets to over $7 billion worth of goods including excess U.S. corn. 

Source: The Maritime Executive


Government of Pakistan and USAID partner to streamline customs and trade procedures

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA), jointly organized a one-day Stakeholders’ workshop on Pakistan Single Window (PSW) for managing Pakistan’s external trade at a local hotel in Islamabad. The objective of the workshop was to encourage stakeholders’ participation and collaboration in making trade related processes more efficient, effective and transparent in line with globally accepted best practices under the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Source: Federal Board of Revenue


UK and South Korea sign 'continuity' trade agreement

The UK has signed a "continuity" trade agreement with South Korea, allowing businesses to keep trading freely after Brexit.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss signed the agreement with her South Korean counterpart Yoo Myung-hee in London.

The two countries agreed to a preliminary deal in June, marking the first post-Brexit deal secured in Asia.

Trade between the UK and South Korea totalled £14.6bn ($17.7bn) in 2018.

Source: BBC


Federal Register announces "modification of action" to Section 301

It should come as no surprise that tariffs are back in the headlines. Earlier this week, a Federal Register (FR) Notice was posted that presents a note of detail on "modification of action" to Section 301. 

The FR announced that effective September 1, 2019, the Tranche 4 (list 1) additional duties of 10 percent will be imposed on products of Chinese origin that are entered for consumption or withdrawn from warehouse for importing. This date will impact all goods that are presently en route to the US and will arrive on September 1 or after. 

Source: BDP International


As pressure grows, Indonesia backs down on IMO 2020 defiance 

The Indonesian government appears to have made a complete u-turn on its announcement last month to allow its flag-state vessels to continue to consume fuel with a 3.5% sulphur content after the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap comes into force on 1 January.

According to Reuters, Indonesia’s ministry of transportation has confirmed that IMO 2020 requirements will apply to “all Indonesian-flagged vessels starting 1 January 2020, both for domestic and foreign shipping”.

Source: The Loadstar