US Orders Vessel Crew Restrictions in Wake of Coronavirus

February 5, 2020

Commercial ship crews who have been to China within the past 14 days — or who are working on a ship that has been in China within the same period — will be required to remain aboard the vessel upon entering the United States except to conduct activities directly related to cargo or provisioning operations.

In a marine safety bulletin issued by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on Monday, the agency also warned that passenger vessels, or any vessel carrying passengers, that have been to China or embarked passengers who have been in China within the past 14 days will be denied entry into the United States. The directive does not apply to crews, passengers or ships that have been to Hong Kong or Macau.

“The Coast Guard considers it a hazardous condition … if a crew member who was in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the past 14 days is brought onboard the vessel during transit,” the bulletin stated. “This requires immediate notification to the nearest Coast Guard Captain of the Port,” it noted, adding that the temporary measures “are in place to safeguard the American public.”

The precautions from the country’s top maritime regulator follow declarations on Thursday by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that China’s coronavirus outbreak is considered a public health emergency.

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Source: American Shipper

US Expands Tariffs to Cover Steel- and Aluminum-based Items

January 28, 2020

– The U.S. will expand existing 25% tariffs on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum to cover imports of several items made from the metals, including steel nails, tacks, staples wires and cables, a White House proclamation published Friday stated. The duties take effect Feb. 8.

– In the proclamation, the president said imports of raw aluminum and steel have decreased since tariffs took effect in March 2018, but imports of steel and aluminum derivatives (items made from the metals) have “significantly increased. … The net effect of the increase of imports of these derivatives has been to erode the customer base for U.S. producers of aluminum and steel.”

– Aluminum product tariffs will not apply to imports from Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico. Steel product tariffs will not apply to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea, the proclamation said.

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Source: Supply Chain Wave

Retail Imports Settling Down After Year of Tariff Surges

January 15, 2020

After a year of fluctuations driven by the uncertainty of the trade war with China, volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to return to its usual seasonal patterns during the first few months of 2020, according to the Global Port Tracker report released on Jan. 10 by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“We’ll be more confident after we see the Phase One agreement signed, but right now 2020 looks like it should be back to what used to be normal,” NRF vice president for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said

. “We’ve been through a cycle of imports surging ahead of expected tariff increases – some of which got delayed, reduced or canceled – and falling off again afterward. That’s not good for retailers trying to manage their inventory levels or trying to make long-term business plans. And tariffs are never good for consumers, businesses or the economy.”

“It is not surprising that even the Federal Reserve suggests that the impact of the trade war has a negative impact on the U.S. economy,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said, citing recent government data on declines in industrial production and increases in inventory-to-sales ratios. “This combination of reduced output counterbalanced by increased inventory underlies the uncertainties of the tariff wars.”

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Source: MH&L News

American Firms Paid $42 Billion in Tariffs, and That Could Go Higher in 2020

January 15, 2020

American trade policy will likely result in more tariffs in 2020.

President Trump’s tariffs have cost American companies $42 billion to date, and that figure could rise higher when new tariffs are put in place. And that’s not a question of if, but when.

Already, there have been talks about U.S. retaliatory action over digital services tax imposed by France and Italy on American tech giants. As of now, U.S. firms mostly have felt the effect of tariffs stemming from the trade dispute with China. A report from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland says the trade war cost American consumers and businesses $42 billion through the end of October.

That’s in contrast to Trump’s claims that American consumers are “paying nothing.” In truth, “U.S. tariffs continue to be almost entirely borne by U.S. firms and consumers,” a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research said.

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Source: Sourcing Journal

US and China to Sign Phase One Trade Deal Jan. 15

January 2, 2020

President Trump said he will sign the so-called “phase one” trade deal recently reached between the U.S. and China at the White House on Jan. 15.

He added in a Dec. 31 tweet that he will be traveling to Beijing “at a later date” to begin “Phase Two” of trade negotiations with China.

The president and U.S. trade officials Robert Lighthizer, Steven Mnuchin, Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow finalized the phase one deal at the White House on Dec. 12.

Details of the trade deal remain limited, but Trump agreed to halt the imposition of another round of tariffs on an estimated $160 billion in Chinese imports that was scheduled for Dec. 15. The Chinese government agreed to boost imports of U.S. agricultural products.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: American Shipper