US

Shipping industry worried over recent trade developments

A delegation from the ICS, the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) has, at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, raised concerns regarding recent increases in protectionist measures. The associations presented two position papers to the WTO, to highlight the importance of the shipping sector fully committing to the preservation and promotion of free trade policies and principles around the world.

Chinese diplomat calls US to enter Belt and Road initiative

The US has every reason to collaborate with China in the Belt and Road Initiative in order to enhance connectivity and jointly mitigate global development issues, according to a senior Chinese diplomat. Chinese Consul General in New York, Huang Ping noted that the BRI could be a point of agreement for China and the US cooperation in addressing development across the world.

US Navy hospital ship to assist Venezuelan refugees

The US will send a hospital ship to assist in the refugee crisis resulting from instability in Venezuela. Namely, at the annual Washington Conference on the Americas at the State Department, Vice President Mike Pence announced the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort will deploy to the US Southern Command area of operations next month.

US deploys carrier, bombers as warning to Iran

The US announced that it is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the US Central Command region, as a response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings to Iran. The country also clarified that it is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but it is ‘fully prepared to respond to any attack.

Peruvian and US Governments boost cooperation

The Peruvian Government signed an agreement to boost cooperation with the American Government in terms of maritime research and rescue operations. Peruvian Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizio Bardales and U.S. Ambassador to Peru Krishna R. Urs signed the Agreement to strengthen cooperation in the field of maritime and aeronautical SAR and to enhance effectiveness in assisting persons in distress.

Iran threatens to block the Strait of Hormuz after US ends waivers

Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if it was not allowed to use the strategic waterway through which around a fifth of oil that is consumed globally passes. This came after the US announcement that it will end exemptions awarded last year to eight buyers of Iranian oil, demanding them to stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions.

MARAD funds $6.7m for marine highway projects in the US

The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) reported $6,790,000 in grants to three Marine Highway projects. The funding will go towards improving the already existent services in Louisiana and Virginia and also will boost the development of a new New York project.

US chartered ship to search for missing Japanese fighter jet

The Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya informed on April 23 that a US-chartered ship will join this month a deep-sea search for an F-35A fighter jet that recently crashed in the Pacific. The ‘Van Gogh’ will take part in the search effort by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and US forces off Aomori Prefecture. he jet crashed on April 9 during an Air Self-Defense Force night exercise after having taken off from Misawa Air Base in Aomori.

EU supports trade talks with the US

The European Council voted to begin talks concerning the Trans-Atlantic Investment Partnership (TTIP), revealing the possibility that the US and EU could sign a new trade deal. The vote took place on April 15, and was passed despite France opposing to the US’s position on climate change, and specifically President Trump’s decision to be excluded from the Paris Agreement.

US to impose new restrictions on Cuba travel

On April 17, the US government announced new measures regarding restrictions on Cuba travel. Except for new travel restrictions, the changes also include a decision to enable private lawsuits against foreign companies over the Cuban government’s expropriation of property in the 1950s. The list also includes the rising economic development zone at the Port of Mariel, which is considered a key area for foreign investment on Cuba.

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