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Entries in united states (20)

Thursday
Mar082018

House Transportation Subcommittee Mulls Ways to Fix Highway Trust Fund

Transport Topics

March 8, 2018

Chairman, Bill ShusterMembers of a House transportation subcommittee seem largely in agreement that the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and near-insolvent Highway Trust Fund are in desperate need of fixes — and quickly.

However, at a March 7 hearing, they agreed less on what long-term funding mechanisms should be used to make the financial, and road and bridge repairs.
“Long-term certainty and stability in infrastructure funding is critical for our states,” said Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), the Transportation Committee chairman. “Without it, our states, our economy and the American people face the consequences. Highway and transit projects get delayed, project costs go up, and our people and businesses continue to suffer the impacts of congestion and inefficiency.”
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, agreed.
“Beginning as early as the spring of 2020, states may have to halt construction of surface transportation projects because, once again, the Highway Trust Fund will not be able to meet its obligations,” Graves said. “There are many reasons for this – motor fuel taxes have not been raised in 25 years, fuel-economy standards have increased, not all users pay into the Trust Fund.”
Monday
Mar052018

What is NAFTA?

Dirt to Dinner

March 5, 2018

Most of the conversation centered on food circles around the same issues, such as “What are GMOs” or “Where is the organic produce?” Or “Local is better.” At D2D, we wanted to explore the role international trade plays in bringing food to your dinner table.

While you are selecting avocados or blueberries at the grocery store, the last thing you are thinking about is Mexico. Or when you eat a ham sandwich, does Canada come to mind? Probably not. But these are just a few of the products that depend on trade between North American countries to satisfy our food demands.

Year-round availability of many food products occurs largely because other countries can either grow them cheaper than the U.S. or have growing seasons that are opposite of ours. Trade provides the best possible price for the products we want by moving food from where it is grown and produced to where it is eaten. It is an efficient, universal means of bringing balance to supply and demand, and taking the wild swings out of our daily food prices.

Those opposed to NAFTA, on the other hand, argue that the influx of produce from Mexico or Canada negatively affect their prices. For instance, the avocado farmer in California is able to sell the farm’s produce at a premium if avocados are not being imported from Mexico. However, NAFTA can encourage farmers to be more dynamic and versatile in their farming practices. Today, some farmers in California are adapting by diversifying into coffee plants.

Read on...

Thursday
Nov302017

How to Keep NAFTA Dressed for Success

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

November 30, 2017

Textile and apparel executives, and their U.S. workers, are nervously eyeing the ongoing negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Concerns around possible job losses in this sector are running high and rising.

If you had read those statements in the mid-1980s, you might assume this sector was hoping trade talks would unravel, due to threats of foreign competition. Some still believe that to be the case, but they are mistaken.

What a difference a generation makes.

To understand why NAFTA helps the U.S. textile and apparel industry compete, you need only understand one number: 97.

That is the percentage of clothes that are purchased every year by Americans and produced offshore. We still make clothes here in the United States — primarily for fast turns, for the military, and for special programs — and we always will. But the bulk of our clothing is sewn offshore.

Asian countries own a good chunk of that 97%. Six of our top ten clothing suppliers are in Asia with China leading the way at about 40% market share. But the other four top suppliers are in the Western Hemisphere, and they include Mexico — one of our two NAFTA partners.

Read on...

Thursday
Nov162017

Terminating NAFTA Would Devastate American Agriculture: The View of a Wheat Farmer

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

November 16, 2017

On average 50% of wheat grown in the United States is exported around the world, making trade a vital market to myself and fellow wheat growers. Our main message in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) re-negotiations is “Do no harm.”

NAFTA is one of our most important trade agreements. Just last year alone, Mexico was our largest export market with about three million metric tons of wheat and is consistently in the top ten. Prior to NAFTA, U.S. wheat was subject to high tariffs and other trade barriers in Mexico. With zero duties and lifted tariffs, exports to Mexico increased by 400% ten years after implementation of NAFTA, compared to ten years prior to NAFTA.  

While we hope calls for withdraw are just rhetoric, we are taking this threat very seriously. In fact, threats alone have already hurt U.S. wheat. When it comes to commodities, if a customer is unsure of the reliability of their source, they will look to our competitors. Mexico has done just that after a trade mission to Argentina and Brazil in May which led to Mexican millers purchasing Argentina wheat. The first shipment purchased by eight companies will be made in late December and will be 30,000 metric tons of wheat as a trial.

Tuesday
Nov072017

Top GOP Senator won’t rule out gas tax hike for infrastructure upgrades

The Hill

November 7, 2017

The Senate’s No. 3 Republican left the door open on Tuesday to raising the federal gasoline tax to pay for infrastructure improvements — an idea currently being considered by the White House, but one that has repeatedly run into a buzz saw of opposition on Capitol Hill. 
“I’m not ruling out anything at this point,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, told reporters. “I think we need to keep our options open in terms of how we get that done.” 
“We have members who are open to all ideas about how to pay for [infrastructure],” he added. 
White House officials told a group of moderate House lawmakers last week that they are considering a gas tax hike to help offset President Trump’s infrastructure proposal. 

An industry source told The Hill that the administration is eyeing a 7-cent increase, though it’s unclear if the proposal would be included in the initial infrastructure legislation or if the administration will push to have it added at the committee level. 

It would be the first hike in the federal gasoline tax in over 20 years. The Highway Trust Fund, which provides money for road construction and other transportation projects across the country, is financed by a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. 
“If anything is done on the Highway Trust Fund, it will happen in the context of an infrastructure discussion,” Thune said. “If that’s what we’re going to use to pay for infrastructure in this country, then we’ve got to figure out a way to fund the trust fund.”
Monday
Sep112017

NAFTA's Impact On Cattle, Protein Trade

CattleFax

September 11, 2017

Trade representatives of the United States, Mexico and Canada declared “progress” but unveiled no breakthroughs at the most recent second round of talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Warnings have been expressed from U.S. agricultural producer organizations about the harm that would come from blowing up the decades-old trade arrangement.

When it comes to cattle imported into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada, combined is just over a million head per year, or about two weeks of cattle slaughter. When looking at all proteins -- beef, pork and poultry -- to stop all trade with Canada and Mexico would put 250 million pounds back on the U.S. market net. Yet it could have a significant impact on the market individually, such as poultry as we export significant amounts to Mexico.

The NAFTA talks are expected to last at least through the end of this year, with venues rotating among the three nations. The just-concluded five-day session in Mexico City followed an initial round last month in Washington.

 

Thursday
Aug172017

NAFTA Helps Small Business Manufacturers Grow

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

August 17, 2017 

Nearly two decades ago, Drew Greenblatt purchased a small manufacturing business in Baltimore, Maryland. Since then, he has nearly doubled the number of employees at Marlin Steel Wire Products. Over that same period, he doubled the firm’s sales. Then he doubled that. Then he doubled it again.

In large measure, Greenblatt’s success and Marlin Steel’s growth have been fueled by exporting the company’s wire baskets, wire forms and sheet metal products to customers abroad, with more than a quarter of the company’s revenue now stemming from international sales. Looking at it another way, seven of the Marlin Steel’s 29 workers’ jobs are directly tied to the company’s exports.

Greenblatt would like to see that number continue to grow.
From a business perspective, the foremost goal of U.S. trade policy should be to tear down barriers so companies like mine can start exporting to new markets … Free trade agreements have helped us accomplish this in the past and will help our business grow in the future.
No trade deal, Greenblatt adds, has been more critical to the company’s success than the North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as NAFTA.

Wednesday
Jul122017

Second International Bridge

Zocalo

July 12, 2017 

Acuna, Coah.- The mayor, Evaristo Lenin Pérez Rivera, reported that he will be accompanied by the mayor of Del Rio, Texas, Robert Garza, to the port of Mazatlán, to participate in the border crossing meeting, which is being convened by the Secretariat Of Public Relations, for the month of August. 
Acuña and Del Rio, Texas, will present the project for the authorization of the second international bridge, which will allow the South Texas and Coahuila state business competition to be depleted. 

He pointed out that they are being summoned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as international organizations and various agencies of the federal government, to present the projects for the authorization of border crossings, where the mayor, Assured that the project of the second international bridge for Acuña will have to be presented, which has already approved the location by both cities, which was presented in Mexico City. 

He said that it will not touch the current administration to see the start of construction of the second international bridge, but, it is responsible for working on large projects, which give the municipality the opportunity of greater competitiveness, noting that it will correspond to the next administration , Work in the negotiations, so he assured that he will go to the city of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, to present a solid project, so that he does not lose track and thus avoid being out of budgets and resources Which are intended for the preparation of all technical projects, Seeking to integrate it into the binational Mexico-United States agenda. 

He said that fortunately on our border there is an increase in border crossings and said, that this is one of the arguments that must be justified so that in the next 5 years, can start with the construction of the second international bridge.