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Trade News

Drought causes Panama Canal to reduce ship size

Panama - The Panama Canal will temporarily limit the size of ships using the waterway due to a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon, authorities said.The Panama Canal Authority said the maximum ship draft will be cut to 11.

Russia destroys more tonnes of smuggled Western food

Moscow - Russian officials on Friday destroyed hundreds of tonnes of fruit as they pushed on with a controversial drive to eradicate smuggled Western food.

'Extremely difficult' for France to sell Mistral warships: Experts

Paris - After cancelling the sale to Russia, France finds itself lumbered with two giant Mistral warships which it will find "extremely difficult" to re-sell and cannot afford to keep, say experts.

'No difficulty' for France to find Mistral buyers: Hollande

Egypt - French President Francois Hollande said Thursday there would be "no difficulty" in finding new buyers for two Mistral warships that had been intended for Russia before Paris scrapped the deal.

Russia begins destroying smuggled Western foods

Moscow - Russian officials on Thursday steamrollered tonnes of cheese as they began a controversial drive to destroy Western food smuggled into the crisis-hit country despite a public outcry.

France says 'several' nations interested in Mistral warships

Paris - France's defence minister said on Thursday that "several" countries had expressed an interest in buying its Mistral-class warships, after Paris refused to deliver them to Russia because of the Ukraine crisis.

Hollande, Putin reach agreement on cancelled warship deal

Paris - France said Wednesday it had agreed a compensation deal with Russia for failing to deliver two Mistral warships due to the Ukraine crisis, drawing to a close a months-long diplomatic and commercial spat.

Pacific trade deal nearing completion despite delay, Kerry insists

Singapore - Asia-Pacific countries negotiating a vast free-trade pact are "nearing completion" of a landmark agreement, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday, days after delegates failed to seal the deal in Hawaii.

Pacific trade talks fail to end in TPP deal

Washington - Delegates negotiating a vast Pacific free-trade agreement failed to reach a final deal after several days of intense talks in Hawaii, in a setback to US President Barack Obama.

Colombia-Venezuela border closed after deadly clash

Estanzuela - A man was shot and killed during clashes between the Venezuelan national guard and merchants moving goods into Colombia, prompting authorities to shutter the main border crossing between the two countries.

Critics fear Pacific trade deal favours big business over states

Sydney - With the end game in sight to what could be the world's most ambitious trade deal, critics fear a controversial mechanism to protect investors will strengthen the hand of big business while eroding national sovereignty.

British PM heads to Southeast Asia with trade, IS on agenda

Jakarta - British Prime Minister David Cameron begins a visit to Southeast Asia on Monday, looking to seal $1.2 billion in trade deals and push for greater cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Cuba and United States resume full diplomatic relations

Washington - The United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations Monday in one of the most-obvious signs of change since Barack Obama was elected president and Fidel Castro left office.

Ban on Dutch flowers 'highly probable': Russian watchdog

Moscow - Dutch flowers represent a sanitary "threat" to Russia and could be banned in the country, its agricultural watchdog said Tuesday, as Moscow's relations with The Hague have reached their nadir.

German economy minister due in Iran with business leaders

Berlin - German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel flew to Iran Sunday as the first top Western official to visit the country since world powers and Tehran reached a historic nuclear deal.

How France dominates oak barrel trade for fine wines

Charente Maritime - Crafted by artisans using high quality oak, "Made in France" wine barrels -- in which age some of the world's most expensive wines -- are selling like hot cakes abroad, with exports making up 70 percent of the market.

Obama urges China to take 'concrete steps' to ease tensions

Washington - President Barack Obama urged Beijing to take "concrete steps" to ease tensions over cyber hacking and its wide-ranging maritime claims, as the United States and China ended three days of candid talks.

New China-U.S. bid to protect world's oceans

Washington - China and the United States launched a joint initiative Wednesday to protect the oceans, highlighting such cooperation as proof the two nations can work together despite stubborn disagreements.

US, China expose faultlines but vow cooperation

Washington - The United States and China candidly laid bare their differences Tuesday including on ensuring freedom of the seas and cyber hacking, but insisted they will work together to avoid confrontation.

U.S., China hold 'frank' talks on hacking, maritime row

Washington - Top US and Chinese officials were set to join "candid" talks Tuesday on the "complicated but consequential" ties between the world's two leading economies, with maritime disputes and cyber hacking high on the agenda.

China, U.S. set for 'vigorous' talks on tough issues

Washington - The United States is vowing not to "paper over" differences with China at key talks this week weighed down by thorny issues of trade, cyber spying and tensions in the South China Sea.

US 'phenomenally thirsty' for wine: Experts

Bordeaux - The American wine market, already the world's biggest, still has "phenomenal" potential for growth if handled with care, US wine professionals said this week at the world's leading wine fair, Vinexpo.

Two North Koreans jailed in Panama over Cuba arms cache

Panama - A court in Panama jailed two North Koreans for 12 years for trying to smuggle Cuban weapons through the Panama Canal in an incident which raised international suspicions, their attorney said Sunday.

U.S. Republican lawmakers make Cuba visit

Havana - A visiting delegation of Republican US lawmakers met Saturday with Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel to discuss the island's economy and closer ties between Havana and Washington.

Obama trade agenda on the brink in Congress

Washington - President Barack Obama Friday went to Congress Friday for a frantic round of lobbying ahead of a crucial vote on his sweeping trans-Pacific trade agenda.

African leaders sign 'Cape to Cairo' free trade bloc deal

African leaders signed Wednesday a 26-nation free trade pact to create a common market that would span half the continent from Cairo to Cape Town.

Africa officials say trade deal ready for signing

Sharm El-sheikh - Senior African officials negotiating a trade deal in Egypt to create a common market across half the continent said Monday the pact was ready to be signed.

Japan joins U.S. maneuvers in Pacific as tensions with China rise

Sydney - Japan will send dozens of soldiers to join U.S.-Australia military exercises in the South Pacific for the first time ever in an apparent signal to Beijing to scale back expansion in the South China Sea.

US Senate approves fast-track trade authority for Obama

Washington - The US Senate overcame bitter divisions on trade policy and passed legislation that gives President Barack Obama authority to swiftly forge international trade pacts, including a landmark Pacific Rim accord under negotiation.

EU parliament in surprise vote for 'conflict minerals' ban

Strasbourg - European legislators on Wednesday unexpectedly voted in favour of a law requiring firms to ensure they do not use so-called conflict minerals from Africa and other areas that end up funding warlords.
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The Silk Road extending from southern Europe through Egypt  Somalia  the Arabian Peninsula  Iran  Ce...
The Silk Road extending from southern Europe through Egypt, Somalia, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Central Asia, Pakistan, India, Java-Indonesia, and Vietnam til it reaches China. Land routes are red, water routes are blue. The Black Death originated in China and spread by way of the Silk Road. It reduced the world's population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400.
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Sino Persian trade relations
Sino Persian trade relations
Cape Espenberg
Cape Espenberg
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President Barack Obama talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao following their bilateral meeting at t...
President Barack Obama talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao following their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada
White House Photo by Pete Souza
Trade routes between Asia and Alaska
Trade routes between Asia and Alaska
Mail Online
The new free trade area in Africa will create a market with a population of 625 mn and gross domesti...
The new free trade area in Africa will create a market with a population of 625 mn and gross domestic product of more than $1 tn
Roberto Schmidt, AFP
A man hawks coffee beans on a wooden bike in a stadium in Kampala  Uganda on September 20  2010.
A man hawks coffee beans on a wooden bike in a stadium in Kampala, Uganda on September 20, 2010.
Demetrios Marantis  US Deputy Trade Representative  speaks at the US-Africa Trade Press Conference h...
Demetrios Marantis, US Deputy Trade Representative, speaks at the US-Africa Trade Press Conference held at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa
World Economic Forum
Some of the hundreds of Malagasy tortises sezied in Malaysia in July 2010.
Some of the hundreds of Malagasy tortises sezied in Malaysia in July 2010.
TRAFFIC
Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe (10) drives to the basket during the third quarter against...
Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe (10) drives to the basket during the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at The Palace of Auburn Hills. New Orleans won 103-101. Jan. 24, 2014
With permission by Reuters / Tim Fuller-USA Today

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