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Time to sieze the benefits of trade to transform lives

Speaking at The Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said that any future UK-US trade deal can only be successful if public trust in trade is rebuilt, and trade is shown to increase investment, opportunities and prosperity in communities across the UK and the USA.

Highlighting the unique commercial ties between the two countries, she outlined three major areas of opportunity in a trade deal – services, small and medium-sized enterprises and engagement with individual states.



Good morning, thank you to the Atlantic Council for welcoming us today. You are doing extraordinary work in the field of international trade and collaboration. It is a privilege to be with you. And to be here at a time of such change for both our countries.

This is the first week outside the E.U. for the U.K. of which more in a moment – a

And certainly an eventful week in U.S. politics.

And as always, I have been struck in my visit here by the many ties that bind us. Not least your raucous democracy that reminds me of ours.

We don’t have an Iowa caucus, but we have had a very eventful year on the floor of the House of Commons. It may be messy, but it’s democracy in action.

And our shared history is everywhere. This year marks the 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower voyage. when 102 men, women and children left the U.K., for the New World.

Since then, the relationship between our two countries has only grown deeper. With, of course, a pause in the 1700s. When our unquenchable thirst for tea and taxes sparked your fight for independence.

Thankfully, King George is no longer a member of the U.K.’s trade negotiating team!


So today, I’d like to talk about how the U.K. and the U.S. can use these strong ties to take a fresh approach to modern international trade.  

And see if together we can help global trade move into forward gear again at a time when it can feel as though it has gone into reverse.

And I do so from the perspective of British business, and of international firms who operate in Britain.

For those of you who don’t know the CBI, we speak for 190k businesses across all sectors in the U.K., employing a third of the private sector workforce.

And our members are both excited and concerned about the current shape of global trade.

We are all familiar with the forces shaping our world — the Atlantic Council has done exceptional work here. Growing protectionist instincts. Rising populism across the West.

An introspective Europe. And, yes, a United States questioning the value of multilateralism in some areas.

We also stand at the foothills of an extraordinary tech revolution. With 80% of tech start-ups now ‘born global’ – with international customers, investors and suppliers from day one.

And – as we’ve seen with Australia’s recent shocking wildfires, the climate crisis is growing.  

But while the past is there to learn from. And we must.

The future is ours to shape. Perhaps in trade more than anywhere else.


Of course, the U.K. has had its own recent challenges. You might have wondered where we went for a while. Well, we start this new decade with a new U.K. government.  

Their message to the world, and mine to you, is this: The U.K. is ready to get back to business.

Last Friday at 11 pm, the U.K. left the European Union after nearly five decades of membership. This has been an incredibly difficult process, causing rifts in families, communities and inevitably politics.

And it’s been a tough time for business. But the decision is now taken, we can move on. It is a great relief.

And one of the main areas for action will be trade. As a country, we believe profoundly in the benefits of free trade. It is woven into the fabric of our history, with merchants from England selling cloth across the world as far back as the 1200s.

We also remain one of the best places in the world to do business. Ranked in the global top ten for ‘Ease of doing business,’ by the World Bank, and second only to the U.S. in the G7 economies.

With four of the top 10 universities in the world. The global leader in fintech. Known for our innovation and creativity.

And more $1 billion dollar unicorns than any other European country.

From Glasgow to Portsmouth, Belfast to London, Liverpool to Hull, our country has always looked outward for success.


And currently, no-one is thinking about trade like the U.K. is. After years seen as the old guard, we are now the new radicals.

So who better to break new ground on trade than we, the new radicals, alongside you, the world’s biggest economy, with whom we share so much?

Yes, we’ve both got challenges. For the U.K., forging a new relationship with the E.U. – still our largest trading partner. Or, in the U.S., strategic competition with China.

But we’re also building on the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship on the planet.


Here in the U.S., British investment supports over one million jobs across every sector, and all 50 states.

At the same time, your investment generates close to 1.5 million UK jobs. And businesses on both sides of the Atlantic recognise the significant political will and ambition to negotiate a free trade agreement between our two governments.

This is very good news. Thousands of British firms see great opportunities to extend our trading relationship. We are huge fans.

But in trade deals, the substance really matters.

So, our request of both negotiating teams will be this – this is a chance for the U.K. and U.S. to show the world how to secure an agreement fit for the future. Let’s set the bar high. Use these trade discussions to design global standards in areas like e-commerce, Artificial Intelligence, FinTech, and the regulation of autonomous vehicles.

For example, on AI – an area that has traditionally not been covered by global trade agreements. The U.K. and the United States have an opportunity to build on the landmark agreement on AI principles at the OECD earlier this year and set new standards on how artificial intelligence can support innovation, trust, human rights and democratic values in both our countries.

And put business at the heart of the policy-making process, bringing our most forward-thinking companies on both sides of the Atlantic together in a new dialogue to advise policymakers on future regulation.


Of course, however great our ambition, it’s important to remember that trade deals don’t happen in isolation. Not only is the U.K. starting to negotiate trade deals on its own for the first time in a generation, it also intends to negotiate these deals in parallel – beginning with the E.U. and the United States. Two of the most formidable negotiating partners in the world.

Yes, we know. But we have thought and planned for this. At the CBI, we understand how important the European market is to our members, as well as the many U.S. investors who value seamless access to E.U. markets.

So, we need to work hard to get the best trade deal possible with our European partners. But we feel equally strongly this shouldn’t be seen as an either/or choice: a deal with the E.U. or a deal with the U.S.

If we approach them in the right way, with collaboration and vision, they can and must be complementary. And I can see a future where the U.K. can play a vital role as a leader and a bridge between the world’s two largest trading blocks.

Together, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a trade deal that not only drives growth but also wrestles with the realities of the modern global economy. 

We have spent the past year consulting our members on the opportunities they see in a U.S. trade deal. And they are very much about the modern economy.

First, services. There’s huge potential to expand services trade across the Atlantic, particularly through easing skilled migration.

Second, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Simplifying customs procedures can make exporting far easier for smaller firms on both sides.

And third, State-level engagement. Many sectors stand to benefit from a closer relationship with individual states and vice versa, whether on procurement or recognition of professional qualifications.

And, in the coming months, the CBI, as the voice of British business, will work with our government to drive progress in all three areas.


But if I may, I’d like to end by talking about an issue I feel is too absent from the traditional trade debate and that’s public trust.

Look around the world – people have lost faith in trade. They’re not convinced it delivers the great jobs, lower prices and better lives that politicians promise.

And there’s real power in that scepticism, stalling countless past negotiations. I believe we will only win back the trust of communities if we have the courage to be honest that in a globalised economy – free trade and open markets will sometimes affect jobs.

And the confidence to argue that the right response to this is not to close the door to foreign competition but to invest at home, particularly in skills for the changing world of work to help more people succeed and share in rising prosperity.

This is a challenge we share and can tackle together. There are so many examples of where trade can transform communities.

Like the Welsh founders of Penderyn whisky – who were inspired by two pioneering US distillers with their own links to Wales, Jack Daniels and Evan Williams.

Named after the small village where their distillery is based, Penderyn has grown into a world-leading whisky brand, exporting to the U.S., China, and elsewhere.

Today, Penderyn supports hundreds of jobs – in a region once dominated by heavy industry. Just one example of the powerful community impact global trade can have.

We need to tell these stories and make them feel local, real and, above all, human.


The good thing is that the answers lie in our hands. I am an optimist for global trade and believe business has a profound role to play.

As providers of evidence, yes.

As vocal champions for trade, yes.

But most important of all, in seizing the benefits of trade to transform lives. We know there will be hard trade-offs ahead – I have deliberately not mentioned food, or healthcare, for example. There will be plenty of time for that – perhaps even in questions in a few moments.

But let’s start with a sense of ambition on what the U.K. and U.S. can achieve together. We the new radicals on the block, and you, the largest economy in the world with whom we already share so much.

Thank you.




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MOL in Restructuring Mode | Brazil Modal

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Firstly, within its energy transport business unit, MOL will create offshore gas project division focusing on FSRU projects and LNG bunker vessel projects as the company is investing heavily to boost its offshore business.

In addition, the Japanese shipping company plans to form ferry and associated business division as an organization for reinforcing group business management with abolishing the new & clean energy business division.

The third division would be the steaming coal & renewable energy project in which functions of the offshore wind power project will be integrated into the steaming coal & energy project division. In this way, MOL said it strengthens its commitment to environmental and emission free businesses.

What is more, the company will create new roles including a chief environment and sustainability officer and a chief digital officer.

The announcement coincided with the company’s financial results for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, showing that MOL delivered a net income of JPY 22.8 billion (USD 209.6 million), an increase compared to JPY 14.3 billion seen in Q3 FY2018.

The company also saw a significant increase in ordinary profit in a year-on-year comparison, which rose to JPY 21.1 billion in Q3 FY2019 from JPY 14.4 billion in Q3 FY2018.

Specifically, the energy transport business recorded a higher profit, thanks to a favorable tanker market and an increase in profit from long-term contracts for LNG carriers. Furthermore, the containership business, ONE, which marks the second year since its integration, showed a significant improvement.

On the other hand, MOL’s revenue decreased to JPY 292.9 in Q3 FY2019 from JPY 322.3 reported in the same quarter a year earlier.

As explained, revenue dropped due to the negation of MOL’s non-consolidated revenue for the containership business which was included in the results for the same period of the previous year.

The full-year fiscal year 2019 forecast remains unchanged, with ordinary profit expected to be JPY 50 billion and net income JPY 40 billion.


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NGOs Urge European Parliament to Postpone Consent to EU-Vietnam Trade Deals

Dear Member of the European Parliament,

We are writing ahead of the February 11th plenary vote on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) to urge you to vote for postponing Parliament’s consent to the deals until the Vietnamese government agrees to meet concrete and verifiable benchmarks to protect labour rights and human rights.

Despite Vietnam’s failure to meaningfully meet repeated requests for human rights improvements formulated by MEPs, on 21 January a large majority in the International Trade Committee (INTA) voted in favour of granting swift consent to the agreements, countering the opinion given by the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and ignoring repeated pledges formulated by many international and Vietnamese NGOs[1]. For the reasons detailed in the annex, we deeply regret that decision, and call on MEPs in plenary to correct that mistake.

There are notable precedents of the European Parliament setting human rights benchmarks to be met before giving their consent to bilateral deals in order to promote human rights progress, in line with the commitments laid out in article 21 of the Treaty of the European Union. Among the most recent ones is the 2016 consent to the EU textiles trade deal with Uzbekistan, which Parliament only granted after there was reasonable ground to conclude that the country had taken serious efforts to eradicate child labour. Similarly, the EP has persistently refused to ratify the EU-Turkmenistan PCA, due to the country’s reluctance to make any progress in the field of human rights and the rule of law – a position last reiterated in a March 2019 resolution.

The European Parliament should take the same approach with Vietnam, withholding Parliament’s consent and approving a parallel resolution laying out the human rights conditions that Vietnam should meet for MEPs to greenlight the deal. These should include, at a minimum:

  • A public commitment and roadmap by Vietnamese authorities to amend or repeal its draconian penal code provisions, including articles 109, 116, 117, 331 and 318, which are routinely used to prosecute peaceful human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, religious leaders, and political dissidents;
  • The release of political prisoners and detainees, including, among others, journalist Pham Chi Dung, who was jailed for his advocacy and outreach to the European Parliament about the EU-Vietnam trade agreements;
  • Commit to a detailed timeline for the ratification of ILO Convention No. 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize) by 2021;
  • In connection with the EU-Vietnam trade deals, the creation of an independent monitoring and complaints mechanism providing people harmed by the agreements effective recourses, remedies, and tools to address grievances.

The choice MEPs have to make on 11 February is a very simple one: either postpone consent to the agreements and send Hanoi a clear message that they are serious about their calls for human rights improvements; or grant consent despite the lack of any meaningful improvement or imminent prospect thereof, and send the opposite message.

We hope that you make the right choice.

Yours sincerely,

  1. Alliance for Independence and Democracy of Vietnam
  2. Association for the Advancement of Freedom of Religion or Belief in Vietnam
  3. Boat People SOS
  4. Buddhist Solidarity Association
  5. Campaign to Abolish Torture in Vietnam
  6. Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam
  7. Con Dau Parishioners Association
  8. Defend the Defenders
  9. Federation Free Viet Labor
  10. Front Line Defenders
  11. Hmong United for Justice
  12. Human Rights Watch
  13. Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam
  14. Legal Initiatives for Vietnam
  15. Montagnard Evangelical Church of Christ
  16. Organisation zur Wahrung der Menschenrechte in Vietnam e.V.
  17. People in Need
  18. Save Vietnam’s Nature
  19. The 88 Project
  20. Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Office of International Relations
  21. Van Lang
  22. VETO! Human Rights Defenders’ Network
  23. Vietnamese Americans for Human Rights
  24. Vietnam Coalition Against Torture
  25. Vietnamese Women for Human Rights
  26. Voice Vietnam


Regrettably, on 21 January the International Trade Committee (INTA) endorsed the EVFTA and IPA, paving the way for the upcoming plenary vote. Trade MEPs decided not to follow the position expressed by their own foreign affairs colleagues, as well as by many international and Vietnamese NGOs, who called for postponing Parliament’s consent in light of the Vietnamese government’s failure to meet any of the requests for human rights improvements formulated by MEPs[2] and by EU member states[3].

Despite repeated requests, human rights NGOs have never had a chance to brief the Committee. We also note the recent decision by MEP Jan Zahradil to step down from his longstanding role as rapporteur for the trade deals, following allegations of conflict of interests over his institutional links with the Vietnamese government, bearing in mind the alleged conflict of interest may have had impact on the parliamentary process leading to the 11 February vote.

INTA Members have justified their vote making reference to what they consider as two positive developments stemming from their diplomacy with Vietnamese authorities, namely:

  • The disclosure of basic information by the Vietnamese government concerning the roadmap to finalise its ratification of core ILO conventions. However:
    • In fact, the Vietnamese government didn’t disclose any new information – or at least none that shouldn’t have already been available to the Committee – nor did it move up the plan for ratification, which remains set for 2023. This was not therefore a new step or progress;
    • Furthermore, that roadmap remains voluntary, without any accountability or penalty in case of delays or failure to ratify the treaties;
    • In 2016, when concluding the TPP, the Vietnamese government committed to ratify ILO Convention 87 by 2021. It is remarkable that no deadline whatsoever for ILO ratification was included in the EVFTA and IPA texts, whose negotiations were officially concluded in June 2019, and that the 2023 plan for ratification is self-imposed and non-binding;
    • The ILO itself has conceded in a recent INTA debate that Vietnam’s penal code remains a major obstacle to the full enjoyment of the rights enshrined in those conventions, mainly in C87 on freedom of assembly, even if they were ratified.
  • The second one is the introduction of some modest improvements in Vietnam’s labour code by the Vietnamese National Assembly in November 2019. Trade MEPs overlooked the reform’s many shortcomings, most notably the persisting de facto impossibility to register and operate as independent trade unions.

INTA had requested a commitment to reform the penal code to be compatible with labour rights, but this request was patently ignored. They had also called for the release of Pham Chi Dung, the Vietnamese activist detained for his outreach to the European Parliament, but the Vietnamese ambassador, in a risible reply, defended the arrest and compared limits on freedom of expression in Vietnam to those in place in Europe. 

The detention of Pham is far from an isolated case. Scores of human rights defenders, trade unionists, environmental activists, religious leaders, journalists, bloggers and lawyers are sent to prison under draconian penal code provisions that criminalise any expression of criticism to the government or Communist Party of Vietnam. Increasingly, people are being prosecuted for nothing more than the publication of Facebook posts. In 2019 alone, at least 30 people were arrested or convicted for peacefully expressing their views, leading the total number of political prisoners in Vietnam to at least 144 , in a trend of systematic repression of peaceful expression which the EU itself recognised has been intensifying in recent years.

Some argue that the EU-Vietnam trade agreements will indirectly lead to general human rights improvements in the country as a result of potential creation of jobs and economic development; others make reference to the agreements’ trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapter. Others also argue that the human rights clause in the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which provides that the EU can suspend the trade deals in the event that Vietnam commits grave human rights violations, would provide the EU with strong leverage over the country.

All these claims are highly questionable.

Firstly, Vietnam has already enjoyed major economic growth without these agreements: there is little evidence to suggest that EU tariff restrictions have unduly held back economic improvements in Vietnam in the last two decades. Meanwhile, there is little empirical evidence that economic growth in repressive regimes leads to general improvements in civil and political rights – it has not for example been the case in China.

Secondly, the TSD chapter’s provisions are weak and contain no enforceable language. They include only vaguely formulated commitments with no penalties, timelines, or deadlines. In the current climate of systematic repression of independent civil society in the country some of the TSD provisions –for instance, the creation of domestic advisory groups, or DAGs, tasked with overseeing the implementation of the deals, are in practice unrealistic. According to the text, the DAGs should be comprised of independent civil society from both the EU and Vietnam, yet it would be very difficult if not impossible to identify any group in Vietnam that could operate independently and properly exercise a monitoring role without fear of government harassment, retaliation, violence or prosecution. The delegation of INTA MEPs who travelled to Vietnam in later October was promised that independent trade union representatives would be included in the DAGs; to date, as noted above, independent trade unions are not even allowed to form and operate.

Thirdly, it is also in practice unrealistic to foresee the PCA’s human rights clause being used to suspend the EU-Vietnam trade deals as a retaliatory measure for human rights abuses by the government, even if theoretically possible:

  1. The EU has never before suspended any trade agreement, with any country, on human rights grounds;
  2. The suspension of the agreement would be extremely harmful to EU businesses and investments in the country, ensuring that EU officials would come under intense pressure not to do so, regardless of human rights issues;
  3. Vietnam currently benefits from unilateral trade preferences through the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), and yet the country’s ongoing and patent failures to uphold its numerous existing human rights obligations under the scheme (including the long-overdue ratification of the core ILO conventions referenced above) has yet to result in any meaningful reaction by the EU;
  4. Human rights violations in the country are so widespread and severe that, were the agreements in place at the time of writing, there would arguably already be grounds to suspend them.

Once Parliament grants consent to the deals, it will relinquish all leverage on Vietnamese authorities.


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Costamare Modernizes Fleet, Enjoys Higher Rates | Brazil Modal

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

“We acquired all four vessels using cash in hand and we are currently in advanced discussions with a leading European financial institution for their financing,” the company added.

Meanwhile, Costamare sold four oldies: Sierra II, built in 1991, the sale of which was announced earlier.

The company also sold 1991-built Namibia II, 1992-built Reunion, and 2000-built Neapolis, which is slated for delivery to its new owners in January 2020. All the sold vessels had an average capacity standing at around 2,000 TEU.

The company entered into four separate loan agreements with European and U.S. financial institutions for a total amount of up to USD 265 million.

The loan proceeds have been used for the refinancing of the existing indebtedness of four 2017-built, 11,010 TEU containerships and for general corporate purposes. The new facilities will be repayable over 5 years.

“During the fourth quarter and the year, net income and earnings per share increased substantially boosted by higher charter rates and the addition of new ships,” Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of Costamare Inc., commented.

“During the year larger vessels enjoyed a rising charter market and today there is limited supply available in the post-Panamax sizes. We have 18 post-Panamax ships coming off charter over the next twelve months, which positions us favorably, should market momentum continue.”

During the fourth quarter of 2019, the company’s net income increased by 82% to USD 35.9 million compared to USD 19.7 million recorded in Q4 2018.

Costamare said that its adjusted net income available to common stockholders increased by 189% to USD 38.4 million in Q4 2019 compared to USD 13.3 million in Q4 2018. Voyage revenues increased by 17% year-on-year to USD 124.5 million, mainly due to revenue earned by its newly acquired vessels and higher charter rates and lower off-hire days.

For the year ended December 2019, Costamare’s net income reached USD 99 million, up from USD 67.2 million earned in 2018.

The company has a fleet of 76 containerships, with a total capacity of approximately 549,000 TEU, including five newbuild containerships currently under construction.


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MEANING RELIABILITY ECO (Foreign Economic Policy of the United States) ePub download

Meaning & Reliability Eco book. MEANING & RELIABILITY ECO (Foreign Economic Policy of the United States).

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For foreign policy as well as economic reasons, unilateralism is simply not an option for the United States in the 21st century

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The United States has not always been a forceful advocate of free trade The United States and members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) took a step toward greater transparency in the 1990s.

The United States has not always been a forceful advocate of free trade. The United States and members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) took a step toward greater transparency in the 1990s by agreeing to outlaw the practice of bribing foreign government officials to gain a trade advantage.

Foreign economic policy involves the mediation and management of economic . For all the potential of the United States, institutional weaknesses hindered the pursuit of a coherent foreign economic policy.

Over two and a half centuries, the context for . foreign economic policy has transformed. Embracing commerce meant repudiating mercantilism, an early modern doctrine that Britain’s Navigation Acts (first introduced in 1651) exemplified. The Navigation Acts excluded foreign merchants from trading within the British Empire, which became, in theory, a closed economic zone.

With the election of Bush, however, government policy changed in 1989, and this book analyses the different approaches of both administrations, the successes and failures of their policies, and the eventual resolution of the debt crisis.

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The economy of the United States is highly developed and mixed. It is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP and net wealth and the second-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).

Электронная книга “. Foreign Economic Policy and the Latin American Debt Issue”, C. Roe Goddard. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу “. Foreign Economic Policy and the Latin American Debt Issue” для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

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Teekay Tankers Seals USD 533 Mn Loan, Sells Assets | Brazil Modal

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“We are grateful for the continued strong support we receive from our bank group, as represented by our new USD 533 million debt facility, which was approximately two times oversubscribed, and provides the company with increased financial flexibility,” Kevin Mackay, Teekay Tankers’ President and CEO, said.

The new debt facility extends balloon maturities from 2020/2021 until the end of 2024.

The size of the loan was reduced since announcing the term sheet signing in November 2019 as a result of excluding five vessels from the new facility, including three 2003-built Suezmax tankers that were sold for a total of USD 57 million.

The first vessel was delivered to the buyer in December 2019 and the remaining two vessels are expected to be delivered during February 2020, according to Teekay.

The proceeds from the vessel sales will be used to cut debt, including USD 30 million of debt directly secured by these three ships.

Teekay Tankers added that it had reached an agreement with Hili Ventures to sell a portion of its oil and gas ship-to-ship transfer support services business, for approximately USD 26 million.

The sale is expected to close late in the first quarter of 2020 or early in the second quarter of 2020.

The company said it would retain its entire Full-Service Lightering business that operates in the U.S. Gulf, which provides ship-to-ship oil transfers for both U.S. crude imports and exports.

In addition, the tanker owner added it would continue to operate oil ship-to-ship transfer support services in North America and the Caribbean, a business that has synergies with its core Full-Service Lightering business.

“We are excited to announce these opportunistic asset sales for combined proceeds of approximately USD 83 million, which is consistent with our strategy presented at our November 2019 Investor Day and accelerates our planned balance sheet delevering efforts,” commented Mackay.

 “The sale of a portion of our ship-to-ship transfer business also allows us to focus and simplify our core business of crude oil and clean product shipping. Importantly, by retaining our core Full-Service Lightering business in the U.S. Gulf, we will continue to benefit from U.S. import and growing export volumes, which provides synergies with our existing Aframax tanker fleet.”

The latest moves are expected to increase the company’s liquidity by around USD 73 million.

Teekay Tankers currently owns a fleet of 55 double-hull tankers, has six time-chartered-in tankers, and has interests in five ship-to-ship support vessels. The company also owns a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) through a 50 percent-owned joint venture.


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US Foreign Trade Policy Report Card

Trump's Score. Democratic Rivals. Scope. C (2.0). Incomplete. Success. C (2.0). Incomplete. Transparency. C (2.0). Incomplete. Enforceability. B (3.0).


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CSAV Ups Stake in Hapag-Lloyd | Brazil Modal

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

As informed, the transaction includes an investment of close to USD 300 million. It will be financed with a debt contracted by Quiñenco S.A., a company controlling CSAV.

Furthermore, the board of directors of CSAV agreed to hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting in the next few weeks to propose a capital increase of USD 350 million. Specifically, the capital increase would be used “to adjust the debt level of the company.”

Yesterday, World Maritime News reported that CSAV decided to close its maritime vehicle transport (RoRo) business and focus on its container shipping business.

“The decision was taken by CSAV in the context to focus all its economics and administration efforts on managing and developing its main business: its stake in the German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd,” the company explained.


Source: World Maritime News


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Opinion | A New Trade Pact Offers Mexico an Opportunity — at a Cost

Unfortunately, among Mexico’s comparative advantages in international competition for investment and jobs have always been cheap labor, sweetheart unions and lax environmental protections in deed, if not in law. As these shameful traits fade away, many investors may, of course, do the same. If all of this occurred in the context of a booming economy in the United States and a strong one in Mexico, the impact would be softened. But given the unease President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador inspires in the business community, these changes, though crucial, are also perilous.

Felipe González, Spain’s socialist prime minister between 1982 and 1996, who is known as the architect of his country’s ascent to modernity, often referred to the need for “anchoring” Spain’s progress abroad. Well-acquainted with his country’s past demons, he meant that only by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Economic Community could the Spanish avoid regression and accomplish modernization. Time has proved him right.

The U.S.M.C.A. is not the Treaty of Rome, which set the foundations of the European Union, by a long shot. Canada initially sought to include human, Indigenous and gender rights provisions in the new agreement, as well as making it a potent force against climate change. Mexico’s 1999 free trade agreement with the European Union includes a democracy and human rights clause. The Canadians eventually gave up, though, and nothing of this came about this time, a fate that might have been expected with Mr. Trump in the White House. A pity, but if the United States president elected in November believes in these goals, they can be revisited.

In the end, the U.S.M.C.A. could have been much better for Mexico, but it offers the country an opportunity: modernization in significant realms of national life. Having thankfully eliminated the notion of authoritarian modernization, this is the road best traveled. Or rather, most likely the only one.

Jorge G. Castañeda (@JorgeGCastaneda), Mexico’s foreign minister from 2000 to 2003, is a professor at New York University and a contributing opinion writer.


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New Initiative Launched to Get More Women on Board | Brazil Modal

Illustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license


Today, the first fourteen shipping companies will sign a charter that obliges them to actively focus on gender equality, Danish Shipping, a trade and employer organization for more than 90 shipowners and offshore companies, said.

As informed, the distribution of workers employed in Danish shipping companies is just under 20,000 men versus just over 3,000 women.

“That is an uneven distribution that needs to be changed,” according to Danish Shipping, which has initiated the charter.

“We have a major challenge in recruiting labour to the Blue Denmark. Right now, we are simply missing out on half the talent pool unless we can attract more women,” Anne H. Steffensen, Danish Shipping’s Director General and CEO, commented.

“We are trying to address this and will make an effort to get more women on board together with the shipping companies. I am pleased with the great support for the initiative and for the fact that the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Mogens Jensen is leading the way today.”

Specifically, the new charter obliges the shipping companies among other things to devise a strategy or plan to increase the proportion of women in the company and describe and put forward initiatives to support it. The companies are also required to develop and set targets for the proportion of women in the company and appoint a member of top management to be responsible for the action.

“The shipping companies themselves choose how they will organise the action. They run very different businesses and their starting points are different. Therefore, we will not try to push them to reach one specific goal,” Danish Shipping’s CEO explained.

“But we have a goal as to the number of shipping companies joining the charter. When we enter 2021, 75 percent of the shipping companies, which represent 75 percent of the employees, should have signed.”

Gender equality in the maritime industry has become a prominent theme over the past months. In 2019, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), together with the World Maritime University (WMU), was raising awareness of the importance of gender equality with the “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” theme. A series of events were held to highlight the contribution of women to the maritime sector.


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