What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 44

aerial view of train cars in busy rail yard

China says part of trade deal text basically completed 

China said parts of the text for the first phase of a trade deal with the U.S. are “basically completed” as the two sides reached a consensus in areas including standards used by agricultural regulators.

The Saturday comments followed a call Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The trade negotiators “agreed to properly resolve their core concerns and confirmed that the technical consultations of some of the text agreement were basically completed,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Saturday.

Source: American Journal of Transportation 
 

Manufacturing is now smallest share of US economy in 72 years

Three years after Donald Trump campaigned for president pledging a factory renaissance, the opposite appears to be happening.

Manufacturing made up 11% of gross domestic product in the second quarter, the smallest share in data going back to 1947 and down from 11.1% in the prior period, a Commerce Department report showed Tuesday. Figures before 2005 were for full years only.

Source: Supply Chain Brain
 

EU grants Brexit extension

The European Union (EU) has agreed to a Brexit extension of three more months rather than see the United Kingdom plunge out of the bloc with no deal on October 31.

After a meeting of European ambassadors, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, announced 27 EU member nations had agreed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s request for an extension.
“The EU27 has agreed that it will accept the U.K.’s request for a new flextension until January 31, 2020,” he tweeted. “The decision is expected to be formalized through a written procedure.”

Source: Freight Waves

 

Canadian rail union eyes November strike

Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) could go on strike as early as Nov. 19 if negotiations dissolve with Canadian National (NYSE: CNI), the union said Oct. 28.

The union voted 99.2% in September in favor of striking. It must give at least 72 hours’ notice before a strike. The union said approximately 3,000 conductors, trainspersons and yardpersons voted in favor of striking.

A previous collective agreement expired July 23, and a legally mandated conciliation period ended late last week, on Oct. 25. The union and Canadian National, which goes by CN, have been negotiating over the past six months, and both parties have been working with federal negotiators the past four months.

Source: Freight Waves

 

Shippers eye new routes to market as port of Melbourne fees skyrocket

Spiralling terminal access fees at the port of Melbourne are forcing cargo owners to consider alternative shipping routes, according to the Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA).

The controversial fees, also known as “port infrastructure” charges, have angered local trucking firms and shippers since the port’s terminal operators began a series of “exponential” increases in March 2017.

Source: The Loadstar

 

Financial hurdles rising for Chinese online merchants selling abroad

Chinese sellers to overseas consumers will face new obstacles from halfway through next year.

Following the green light for postal services in destination countries to raise their charges to China Post (and other countries of origin), the European Union (EU) is to introduce a new VAT regime on 1 January 2021 that will make it more difficult to avoid the tax payments.

Source: The Loadstar

 

Update on New Zealand Brown Marmorated stink bug

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI - Biosecurity) has issued direction for imports during the 2019/20 season of the BMWS. This direction contains new versions of the Import Health Standard for vehicles, machinery and parts and the Import Health Standard for sea containers from all countries. Both standards include major requirement changes for importing goods to New Zealand during the risk season (September to April) from BMSB risk countries. It is important for all importers and exporters to know the changes before shipping to New Zealand.

Sources: BDP International, MPI