Washington Waves
Washington Waves

Two Senators Travel To China To Reinforce Tariff Strategy

Washington, D.C.—With the next round of talks on the U.S.-China trade war on hold, two Republican U.S. senators visited China to reinforce President Donald Trump’s tariff-based approach on the long-running dispute.

“We were there to emphasize that the president and his negotiating team have strong support from Congress,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said: “We must continue to hold China accountable.”

While in Beijing, Perdue and Daines met with Vice Premier Liu He, his nation’s top trade negotiator, and other top Chinese officials.

Liu delivered his own message during their meeting.

According to China’s Xinhua News, Liu expressed hope both sides could deepen their mutual understanding and said the ongoing trade war is not conducive to China, the U.S. or the rest of the world.

Trump said he knew about the pair’s trip beforehand and approved it.

“China asked for the meeting,” the president said. “They have a lot of respect for Sen. Daines and Sen. Perdue.”

He also stood by the decision to allow the latest U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods to take effect.

Trump said he was not worried about the war of words between the U.S. and China, and in separate remarks the president said the revenue generated by the tariffs can be used to help farmers hit by Hurricane Dorian.

“We’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China,” he said, recalling the aid previously given the farmers hurt earlier by the trade war.

Meanwhile, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative invited the public to comment on barriers to U.S. exports such as agricultural commodities, foreign investment and protection of intellectual property rights for inclusion in the annual National Trade Estimate Report.

Comments must be submitted by October 31.

They are being sought on trade barriers in China and dozens of other countries.

For additional information, contact Yvonne Jamison at 202-395-3475.

Smart Phone Technology

The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comments from the public on an agreement to investigate the operational use of leveraging smart phone technology, specifically the phone’s location services, to help mariners in distress more efficiently.

In its Federal Register notice, the Coast Guard also announced the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) it has with the Callyo 2009 Corporation on the investigation.

It wants public comments on the possible nature and participation of other parties in the CRADA, which will be based on market research and visits to vendors with expertise in the unique application of technology in the maritime environment for search and rescue.

Comments must be submitted to the online docket via www.regulations.gov by September 9.

For additional information, contact Sekaran Jambukesan at 860-271-2884.

USMMA Advisory Board

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the appointment of seven new members to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Advisory Board, including several graduates of Kings Point (KP).

They are Dr. Henry Marcus, chair, professor emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Martha Grabowski, KP ’79 professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Le Moyne College; John Noonan, KP ’78, president and CEO, Binnacle Maritime; Brian Starer, KP ’67, senior partner, Squire, Patton Boggs; Benjamin Inouye, KP ’10, manager, MAN Diesel and Turbo NA; Allison Cedeno, KP ’08, founder and CEO, Women Offshore; and Raymond Fitzgerald, president and CEO, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Solutions.

According to the announcement, the board serves as an independent body whose primary purpose is to examine the course of instruction and management of USMMA to further the accomplishment of its mission, execute its strategic plan and help advance the midshipmen’s professional knowledge and skills.

By statute, board members must be distinguished in education, industry and other fields related to the USMMA mission. In appointing new members, the announcement stated, the department sought candidates with expertise in maritime-focused higher education, innovations and trends in the maritime industry as well as leadership development. The seven USMMA Advisory Board members are appointed for terms of up to three years, are eligible for reappointment and must include one individual who recently graduated from USMMA.

Chao said her department is dedicated to providing midshipmen with the finest possible education and preparing them to excel as mariners and military officers.

USMMA Superintendent Rear Adm. Jack Buono said Kings Point graduates go on to serve as leaders in one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing industries in the world.

“We look forward to working with the new advisory board members to incorporate best practices that will better prepare our midshipmen as professional mariners and officers in the armed forces,” Buono said.

Arctic Port Access Study

The U.S. Coast Guard extended its comment period for a Port Access Route Study on the need for establishing vessel routing measures along the Alaskan Arctic Coast.

Comments now must be received by January 30, 2020.

As explained in the Federal Register on December 21, 2018, the Alaskan Arctic Coast Port Access Route Study (AACPARS) is being conducted in order to provide safe access routes for vessel traffic moving along the Arctic Coast of the United States and transiting within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Vice President Mike Pence, during a visit to Iceland, spoke of how “the Arctic region is becoming more important, virtually by the day, when we see more Russian activity in the region, when we see more Chinese ambitions across the Arctic region.”

For additional information, contact Lt. Cmdr. Michael Newell at 907-463-2263, David Seris at 907-463-2267 or Lt. Stephanie Bugyis at 907-463-2265.