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America’s Trade Priorities Advance on Several Fronts

Trade Agreements Put on Fast Track

The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA) [1] introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) easily passed its first hurdle when both House and Senate committees agreed to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).  The bipartisan legislation also allows Congress to vote on the treaties.  But the package of bills intended to speed completion of the deal also imposes difficult burdens on its negotiators.[2]   The legislation faces difficult fights over amendments on human trafficking, currency and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).

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Freight Forwarding Shipping Carrier and Containers

U.S. Ports See Costly Delays as Cargo Ships, Volumes Grow

The Wall Street Journal

The Port of Virginia, one of the nation’s largest, was built to handle high volumes of cargo traffic entering and exiting the U.S.

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Port truck drivers strike for second day

LA Times

Some truck drivers who haul goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach struck for the second day Tuesday in a protest against four companies they accuse of wage theft.

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Cass Freight Index Report – March 2015

Cass Information Systems

North American shipment volume and expenditures rose again in March as shipments picked up significantly from the West Coast ports. The U.S. and global economies did not grow as much as expected in the first quarter, but freight movement in the U.S. continues to strengthen.

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Imports Rising as West Coast Ports Recover

National Retail Federation

Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 8 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports continue to recover from a backlog of cargo that built up before a tentative new labor agreement was signed, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

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ILWU Taking Next Steps To Ratify Tentative Agreement

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union  (ILWU) announced in a press release on Friday April 3rd, that the majority of their delegates had voted in favor of recommending to their membership the tentative agreement reached on February 20th.

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ILWU signs off on next steps to approve tentative labor contract

Logistics Management

Roughly six weeks after the International Warehouse & Longshore Union and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) reached a tentative five-year labor agreement, following nine months of often acrimonious negotiations that led to myriad supply chain and logistics disruptions, the ILWU said late last week that steps are being taken to make the tentative agreement a done deal.

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Dockworkers union leaders back West Coast ports labor deal

American Journal of Transportation

A union caucus representing dockworkers at West Coast ports voted to recommend to its members a labor contract deal reached over months of negotiations that led to major disruptions to trans-Pacific trade, the U.S. Department of Labor said on Friday.

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Freight Forwarding Shipping Carrier and Containers

Port dock workers’ union ILWU recommends approval of new contract

Press-Telegram Shipping

Delegates for International Longshore and Warehouse Union members are recommending the full union ratify a proposed five-year contract with West Coast port businesses.

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U.S. Unemployment Situation – March 2015

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade, while mining lost jobs.

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