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

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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

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