The reality of the Trump administration’s concerted attack on trade and its linkage of trade to the U.S. deficit is finally beginning to impact trading relations. We must be realistic and accept that Trump believes trade to be a bad thing when he expounds on “America First.” This is an isolationist, inward looking strategy that was made clear by his speech at the U.N. General Assembly where he announced that the United States is not in favor of globalization. The third round
Do the new US steel and aluminum import tariffs threaten the baseline forecasts of US import container volumes this year? That question is on the minds of shippers rightly fearing the effects of the new tariffs. The answer can’t be known given the path of retaliation and subsequent US response back-and-forth is not clear. While there are characteristics of the way these new tariffs are being justified and applied that are very unusual, the likely responses by trade partners c
Fixation on the negative balance of payments in trade has created a clear and present threat to global trade. What started out as an announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum by President Trump is rapidly turning into a potential trade war. The unnerving thing about this is the false premise on which the tariffs are based. China is being blamed for flooding the market with cheap steel due to its excessive production, yet the two largest exporters to the United States are
The North European economies continue their strong growth as consumer confidence remains solid. The latest Purchasing Manager’s Index for the Eurozone, at nearly 60, indicates a continuing sense of well-being by industry. While a bit weaker than in the last few months, it reflects strong orderbooks and optimism and with a backlog of orders the pressure is on finding labour. At the same time retail sales remain healthy and inflation is not an issue. This is reflected in the
The North America edition of the Global Port Tracker has a couple of new additions to its format. We have added an overview page that provides the reader with a total of all the ports covered by the newsletter. This combines the West and East Coast summaries plus Houston. We hope that readers will find it helpful to see this combined coverage on the same page. We have also added Jacksonville as one of the ports we cover thanks to the Port Authority’s agreement to allow us to
Our models suggest that North Europe will have had an annual growth rate of nearly two per cent for imports while exports grow nearly seven per cent in 2017, with most of the growth in the first half of the year. They also suggest that the first half of 2018 will grow at a faster pace, up 4.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively compared to volumes in the same period last year. This is virtually the same as we projected last month. We can now safely say that the EU is out
Going into 2018 the container shipping industry faces a fundamental problem: too many large vessels. The carriers have invested heavily in “megaships” to reduce slot costs and emissions, and continue to take delivery of ever-larger examples. The oversupply of vessels overall and large vessels in specific creates a double-edged problem: -Oversupply has depressed rates and profitability in an era of slow trade growth, despite partial recoveries by some carriers in some trades.