Archive for July, 2011

India poised to be biggest Ex-Im Bank market

Representatives of the Export-Import Bank of the United States were in New Delhi Tuesday to promote the purchase of U.S. goods and services by Indian buyers.

The bank took part in the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue headed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Indian capital Tuesday.

Fred Hochberg, chairman and president of the Ex-Im Bank, is also leading a business development mission this week in India.

Hochberg announced $25 million in Ex-Im Bank loans for two new solar-energy projects and is promoting the bank’s financing products to support other deals in India.

“India is a key country for U.S. exports and an increasingly important market for Ex-Im Bank,” he said. “In the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, the bank has approved $1.4 billion in transactions on behalf of American exporters and their Indian buyers. This financing has increased our overall exposure in India to $5.5 billion. With this kind of growth in demand, we anticipate that next year India may very well become Ex-Im Bank’s biggest single market.”

A big part of the growing partnership relates to developing renewable energy in India. In fiscal year 2011 through June 30, the bank said it has approved $75 million in solar transactions in India, with another roughly $500 million in upcoming Indian solar deals.  Read more.

American Shipper, 7/19/2011

July 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

BIS proposed rule moves U.S. export reform forward

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security released a proposed rulemaking Friday that moves another step forward the Obama administration’s goal to modernize the country’s aging export control system.

A significant piece of the reform is for BIS and its counterpart at the State Department that oversees exports of munitions to review and revise the two primary lists of controlled items — the Commerce Control List (CCL) and the U.S. Munitions List (USML) — to make them more “positive,” “aligned” and “tiered.”

To do this, BIS has proposed a new regulatory construct for the transfer of items on the USML that the Obama administration determines no longer warrant control under the Arms Export Control Act to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  Read More.

C. Gillis, American Shipper, 7/15/2011

July 22, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S., Macedonia reach open skies agreement

The United States and Macedonia on Thursday reached an open skies aviation agreement, which will allow airlines of both countries to select routes, destinations and prices for passenger and cargo services based on consumer demand and market conditions.

It’s the first aviation agreement between the two countries.

Open skies agreements allow unrestricted access by the airlines of each side to fly to, from and beyond the other’s territory, without restriction on how often carriers fly, the kind of aircraft they use and the prices they charge.

The agreement makes Macedonia the 103rd U.S. open skies partner.

American Shipper, 7/15/2011

July 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

Jobs Study Is Too Late for Debate on Trade

As a divided Congress moves closer to a decision on three big international trade pacts, the Labor Department is four years late in delivering a study that is supposed to measure the efficacy of a program to provide extra benefits to workers who lose their jobs through globalization.

The deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama, which could add billions in exports, are on a knife-edge over disagreements between Republicans and Democrats over Trade Adjustment Assistance, taxpayer funds paid to workers who lose their jobs as a direct result of trade.

The lack of up-to-date government data on how effective …  Read more.

E. Williamson, Wallstreet Journal, July 6,2011

July 19, 2011 at 7:00 am

Korean Ambassador Crisscrosses the Nation to Convince Americans They Would Benefit From Pact

LONG BEACH, Calif.-Han Duk-Soo, the South Korean ambassador to the U.S., gripped the handrail of a tour boat jammed with business leaders in the harbor here one recent morning, fighting the flu and trying not to lose his breakfast.

The port tour was just the beginning of Mr. Han’s 16-hour day on the free-trade campaign trail, trying to convince Americans that a pending trade agreement with South Korea is a good deal for both sides. Mr. Han and a team of other officials from Washington and Seoul have taken their pitch to berry growers and racehorse breeders, immigrant merchants and … Read more.

E. Williamson, Wallstreet Journal, JULY 6, 2011


July 18, 2011 at 7:00 am

Chicago flyover splits passenger, freight rail

The U.S. Transportation Department on Friday said its Illinois state counterpart can start spending $126 million for Chicago’s so-called Englewood Flyover project that was awarded last year.

The project, which will get under way later this summer, will eliminate one of the nation’s largest rail bottlenecks, DOT said. The Illinois Department of Transportation contributed $6.6 million to the $133 million project.

The Englewood Flyover is a grade separation project south of Chicago Union Station that eliminates one of the most delay-prone intersections in the entire Amtrak system. It separates Rock Island District Metra commuter trains from Amtrak passenger trains traveling on the Norfolk Southern corridor.

“Untying rail congestion in Chicago is critical to developing a Midwest passenger rail network that will connect the 40 largest markets in the Midwest,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, in a statement.

DOT noted that an agreement between Illinois, Norfolk Southern and Amtrak also lays the groundwork for an additional express track for high-speed trains to points east and south. Amtrak uses the Norfolk Southern line for all trains from Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Indianapolis into Chicago. The State of Illinois will serve as the hub of the Midwest passenger rail network, DOT said.  Read more.

American Shipper, 6/27/2011

July 15, 2011 at 7:00 am

2011 National Export Strategy report released

The White House, on behalf of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), Tuesday released to Congress the 2011 National Export Strategy: Powering the National Export Initiative.

The report reinforces the importance of U.S. exports of goods and services, which in 2010 totaled $1.84 trillion, an increase of about 17 percent over 2009 levels, and supported more than 9 million U.S. jobs.

Starting with this report, the annual National Export Strategy will track and measure the federal government’s progress in implementing the president’s National Export Initiative (NEI).

President Obama announced the NEI in 2010 and set the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014 to support millions of American jobs. This year’s National Export Strategy outlines progress made to date on the NEI and identifies the administration’s areas of focus for 2011.

The release of this year’s report marks the first time all 18 trade agencies have agreed-upon common metrics to measure export promotion.     Read more.

American Shipper, 6/29/2011

July 14, 2011 at 7:00 am

U.S. urges China to open more markets

Senior U.S. trade officials on Tuesday urged China to open more markets for American goods and services and make progress on other priority trade issues at the annual Mid-Year Review Meeting for the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT).

The two governments also took stock of their trade and investment relationship, and identified key policy concerns in preparation for the 2011 JCCT plenary meeting that China will host later this year.

Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Claire Reade co-chaired the meeting with Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Chao.

“We are focused on creating a balanced and healthy U.S.-China trade relationship, and we believe China should take steps to open more markets to American goods and services,” Sanchez said. “We face challenges that need to be addressed in our commercial relationship, but recognize the important synergies that exist between our National Export Initiative and China’s 12th Five Year Plan to develop and modernize its economy.” Read more.

American Shipper, 6/29/2011

July 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

Tweeting from a La-Z-Boy, An Unfinished Book Hits No. 1

In a feat that even the best-selling writers might envy, young-adult author John Green’s latest novel is No. 1 on and Barnes & even though he’s still working on it from his comfy La-Z-Boy in Indianapolis.

With “The Fault in Our Stars,” the author has overtaken hot books by Suzanne Collins and Laura Hillenbrand. His book won’t be published until the spring of next year.

It helped that Mr. Green, a 33-year-old who first gained attention in 2005 with his debut novel “Looking for Alaska,” has more than 1.1 million Twitter followers. Mr. Green is published by Dutton Children’s Books, an imprint of Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group (USA), but he does his own thing on the Web. “I don’t take direction from Penguin,” he says.

In only a few short years, the ability to use social networking as a literary megaphone has gone from an afterthought to the focus of most marketing and image shaping by publishers. “Everyone is now focused on it, because when it works, it can be a runaway train,” says Tim Duggan, executive editor of Harper, an imprint of News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers Inc. News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Green’s runaway train started like this: On Tuesday afternoon, he posted the title of his new book on Twitter, Tumblr and the community forum An hour later, he upped the stakes by promising to sign all pre-orders and the entire first-print run, while also launching a YouTube live show. Mr. Green discussed his plans for signing the book and also read a section to give viewers a sense of what “The Fault in Our Stars” would be about. (It’s a story of two young cancer survivors.)  Read more.

J. Trachtenberg, Wallstreet Journal, JULY 1, 2011


July 12, 2011 at 7:00 am

White House Pushes for Votes on Trade

The White House and congressional leaders said Tuesday they would push for votes on three long-delayed free-trade deals and government aid to displaced workers, a risky maneuver that could determine the fate of the trade agenda for the rest of President Barack Obama’s term.

Mr. Obama is gambling that he can overcome Republican opposition to his proposal to tie approval of the long-stalled treaties with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to the renewal in scaled-back form of the longtime Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers hurt by foreign competition. Senior administration officials say that if the TAA program fails,  Read more.

E. Williamson, Wallstreet Journal, JUNE 29, 2011

July 11, 2011 at 7:00 am

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