LA, Long Beach Ports’ Zero Emission Plan to Cost Up to USD 14 Bn

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have set out aggressive near-term and long-term strategies to cut harmful air pollution from all port-related sources to ultimately achieve zero emissions for trucks and terminal equipment.

In a draft document titled 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update the ports revealed detailed steps to be undertaken.

“These ports are going where no port has gone before,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.

“Based on what we’ve already accomplished to promote healthy, robust trade through our gateway, we’re ready to make history again, looking at a new array of technologies and strategies to further lower port-related emissions in the decades ahead.”

According to a preliminary analysis the cost of implementing the 2017 CAAP rages between USD 7 billion and USD 14 billion. Given the magnitude of the investment, the draft plan calls for the ports to intensify their funding advocacy and increase collaboration with their partners to finance the new strategies.

The ports claim that the draft 2017 CAAP ushers in a new era of clean air strategies that seek to reduce harmful emissions from port-related sources: ships, trucks, cargo handling equipment, locomotives and harbor craft.

Furthermore, the document is said to be in line with local, regional, state and federal standards and regulations, and anticipates clean air regulations under development by the California Air Resources Board.

The 2017 CAAP sets new clean air goals focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan carries over previous 2023 targets for cutting other primary pollutants aimed at reducing diesel particulate matter (DPM) 77 percent, sulfur oxides (SOx) 93 percent, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) 59 percent below 2005 levels.

The most recent emissions inventories show the ports have surpassed the 2023 DPM and SOx reduction targets and are within striking range of the NOx target. The 2017 CAAP identifies the tougher measures needed to ratchet down harmful emissions to zero or near-zero levels, the statement further adds.

The document’s release kicks off a public review and comment period that extends through Sept. 18.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach handle approximately 40 percent of the nation’s total containerized import traffic and 25 percent of its total exports.

By – World Maritime News

U.S., China Sign Historic Agreement to Provide Market Access for U.S. Rice Exports

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the United States to begin exporting rice to China for the first time ever.

“This is another great day for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for our rice growers and millers, who can now look forward to gaining access to the Chinese market. This market represents an exceptional opportunity today, with enormous potential for growth in the future,” said Perdue. “The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry.”

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. Since 2013, it has also been the largest importer, with imports reaching nearly 5 million tons last year. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Discover Global Markets:U.S. Manufacturers to Europe & Beyond

Sept 18th to the 20th, 2017
Westin Cleveland Hotel
777 St. Clair Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s flagship event series for U.S. exporters. In just two and a half days, attendees at Discover Global Markets will uncover new exporting opportunities, learn from seasoned exporters, and connect with hundreds of networking contacts.

This conference will feature a dynamic mix of keynote speakers, general and sector-specific breakout sessions, pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats from all over Europe,“ask the experts” and OEM panels, and plenty of time built in for networking.

Foreign Direct Investment: Driving Global Competitiveness and Innovation

Graphic on Direct Employment by Majority Foreign-Owned Firms in the United States.

The following is a cross-post from the U.S. Economic and Development Administration

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays an important role in the U.S. economy. It leads to the creation of jobs, an increase in wealth and living standards, and overall growth and innovation that drive the U.S. economic competitiveness. Later this month, the Commerce Department will host the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit providing a platform to communicate economic priorities and affirm the United States as the number one destination in the world for foreign direct investment.

The United States remains an attractive destination for FDI for a variety of reasons, including a large consumer base, a productive workforce, a highly innovative environment, and legal protections. As a result, foreign firms make investments in the United States on a regular basis by establishing new operations, purchasing existing operations of another company, or providing additional capital to their existing U.S. operations.

The U.S. welcomes foreign investment, and the numbers show that investors have confidence in the opportunities here. With a population of 320 million and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that’s over $18 trillion, our nation is home to more FDI stock than any other country.

The numbers paint the big picture:

  • 12.1 million jobs are attributable to FDI.
  • 6.4 million reflects the number of U.S. workers who are directly employed by majority foreign-owned firms.
  • 2.4 million includes jobs attributable to the economic activity of majority foreign-owned firms, including jobs in those firms’ supply chains, jobs attributable to higher incomes, and other economic effects.
  • In the manufacturing sector alone, productivity growth from technology spillovers associated with FDI contributed 3.5 million jobs.

At the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administratoin (EDA), FDI is one of our investment priorities. These priorities are designed to provide an overarching framework to guide the agency’s investment portfolio and ensure its investments contribute the strongest positive impact on sustainable regional economic growth and diversification.

Since FY2011, EDA invested more than $109 million in 91 projects to help advance local strategies to attract FDI. Of the total, 61 projects totaling close to $98 million are expected to create and/or retain 30,073 jobs and attract over $8 billion in private investment. The other 30 projects totaling close to $12 million support FDI-related planning, research, technical assistance, access to capital, and/or other activities that are essential for successful economic development and job creation in the future.
Examples that show how EDA is investing to support FDI include:

  • Mississippi: Mississippi State University’s Canton-based office received the Mississippi Economic Development Council’s Community Economic Development Award for its work to bring advanced manufacturing jobs back to America. The program acquired its initial funding through EDA. According to the University, the initiative resulted in a nearly $11 million economic impact, with more than 33 direct investment opportunities identified and 333 jobs created or saved. Additionally, the program saw 262 industry certifications and 221 paid internships in high-demand advanced manufacturing skills.
  • Georgia: Over the last three decades, the global automotive sector has established a noticeable presence in the Southeast United States. From Mercedes in Alabama, to BMW in South Carolina, many automotive manufacturers are seeking to take advantage of the Southeast’s comparatively inexpensive cost of doing business, warm climate, and excellent transportation networks. In 2015, EDA invested $700,000 in Public Works Program funds in the city of Lavonia, Georgia, to make sewer systems improvements that helped bring a foreign-based automotive parts manufacturer to the region. As a result, it is estimated that the region will gain 400 new manufacturing jobs and attract $54 million in foreign direct investment.

Explore Export Opportunities in Poland and the Czech Republic

Smart Cities Business Development Mission to Poland & the Czech Republic
Dates: September 10-15, 2017

Explore Export Opportunities in Poland and the Czech Republic

The U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, is organizing a Smart Cities Business Development Mission to Poland and the Czech Republic from September 10 – 15.

This mission is focused on business and designed to help export ready U.S. companies launch or increase their export business in promising sectors in Poland and the Czech Republic that contribute to the development of smart cities, including e-mobility, energy efficiency and management, e-governance, and environmental management and quality, including air and water quality.

U.S. companies will attend pre-scheduled meetings with potential agents, distributors, end users, industry contacts and government officials for the goal of launching or increasing exports.

Trade with China Continues Trend While Comprehensive Economic Dialogue Hopes to Balance Deficits

The trade deficit in goods with China ballooned by 13.8 percent year-over-year while the overall trade deficit increased by 5 percent since March as imports increased slightly and exports declined following the release of the April 2017 International Trade in Goods and Services monthly data by the Department of Commerce.

“While the overall trade deficit continues to grow, it is too soon for the numbers to reflect the recent deal with China and other actions of this Administration is taking to level the balance of trade,” said Secretary Ross. “We look forward to the July 16 deadline which will open up the Chinese market to American beef, liquefied natural gas and other products.”

The U.S. goods and services deficit with China increased 5.4 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017 growing from $77.714 billion to $81.901 billion.

The trade deficit widened month-to-month with China from 24.6 billion in March to 27.6 billion in April.

While the trade deficit with China grew, there was improvement in other areas. April exports to South Korea were the highest ever on record, while exports to Japan were the largest since August of 2014.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $9.4 billion, or 7.5 percent, from the same period in 2016. Exports increased $38.0 billion or 7.1 percent. Imports increased $47.5 billion or 7.1 percent.

The April increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $2.3 billion to $68.4 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of less than $0.1 billion to $20.8 billion.

JOINT RELEASE: Initial Results of the 100-Day Action Plan of the U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue

President of the United States Donald Trump and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping agreed at their Mar-a-Lago meeting to advance U.S. – China economic cooperation with a 100-day action plan under the framework of the U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue. Under the leadership of the co-chairs, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross of the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang of China, both nations have negotiated intensively to make progress on key issues. The three co-chairs reached consensus on initial commitments under the 100-day plan and objectives for next steps.

In approximately one month following the Presidential Summit, the two sides reached consensus on addressing issues in areas including agricultural trade, financial services, investment, and energy. For details, see the U.S.-China joint fact sheet below.

Both sides also identified other issues that will require significant effort to resolve and achieve progress on within the 100-day period. Both sides further committed to strengthen communication and coordination to jointly advance those issues and achieve resolution as soon as possible. Further, as concrete progress is made in implementing the actions under the 100-day plan, the two sides will begin discussing a one-year plan to further solidify actions in promoting U.S. – China economic engagement and cooperation. Following implementation of the 100-day plan, the United States and China look forward to deepening engagement on these and other issues at the first meeting of the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, to be held in the United States in the summer of 2017.

Initial Actions of the U.S.-China Economic Cooperation 100-Day Plan

1. Following one more round of technical consultations between the United States and China, China is to allow imports of U.S. beef on conditions consistent with international food safety and animal health standards and consistent with the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement, beginning as soon as possible but no later than July 16, 2017.

2. The United States and China are to resolve outstanding issues for the import of China origin cooked poultry to the United States as soon as possible, and after reaching consensus, the United States is to publish a proposed rule by July 16, 2017, at the latest, with the United States realizing China poultry exports as soon as possible.

3. China’s National Biosafety Committee (NBC) is to hold a meeting by the end of May 2017, to conduct science-based evaluations of all eight pending U.S. biotechnology product applications to assess the safety of the products for their intended use. No additional information unrelated to safety assessment for intended use is to be requested of the applicants. For any product that does not pass the safety evaluation at the NBC meeting held in May 2017, the NBC is to operate with transparency by providing in writing to the applicants a complete list of requested‎ information necessary to finalize the safety assessment for the products’ intended use, along with an explanation of how the requested information would be relevant to the safety of the products’ intended use. The NBC is to hold meetings as frequently and as soon as possible after an application is resubmitted in order to finalize reviews of remaining applications without undue delay. For the products that pass the safety evaluations of the NBC, China is to grant certificates within 20 working days in accordance with Administrative License Law of the People’s Republic of China.

4. The United States welcomes China, as well as any of our trading partners, to receive imports of LNG from the United States. The United States treats China no less favorably than other non-FTA trade partners with regard to LNG export authorizations. Companies from China may proceed at any time to negotiate all types of contractual arrangement with U.S. LNG exporters, including long-term contracts, subject to the commercial considerations of the parties. As of April 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy had authorized 19.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas exports to non-FTA countries.

5. By July 16, 2017, China is to allow wholly foreign-owned financial services firms in China to provide credit rating services, and to begin the licensing process for credit investigation.

6. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) intends to extend by July 16, 2017 the current no-action relief to Shanghai Clearing House for six months, with further extensions amounting to up to three years, if appropriate and consistent with the conditions set forth in the no-action relief. The People’s Bank of China and the CFTC are to work towards a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning the cooperation and the exchange of information related to the oversight of cross-border clearing organizations.

7. By July 16, 2017, China is to issue any further necessary guidelines and allow wholly U.S.-owned suppliers of electronic payment services (EPS) to begin the licensing process. This should lead to full and prompt market access. China is to continue to allow Chinese banks to issue dual brand-dual currency bankcards that allow U.S. EPS suppliers to process foreign currency payment card transactions.

8. The applicable U.S. federal regulatory authorities remain committed to apply in the United States the same bank prudential supervisory and regulatory standards to Chinese banking institutions as to other foreign banking institutions, in like circumstances and in accordance with U.S. law.

9. China is to issue both bond underwriting and settlement licenses to two qualified U.S. financial institutions by July 16, 2017.

10. The United States recognizes the importance of China’s One Belt and One Road initiative and is to send delegates to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing May 14-15.

The United States welcomes direct investment by Chinese entrepreneurs as it does by entrepreneurs from other countries. The United States welcomes Chinese participation in the SelectUSA Investment Summit that will be held June 18-20 in Washington D.C.