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News stories tagged with "trade"

A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Seaway tonnage down 11%

The St. Lawrence Seaway is still trying to dig itself out of a recession slump. After posting a 4% tonnage increase last year, shipping between Great Lakes and foreign ports is down 11% so far this year.

Seaway officials were hoping to build on last year's gains. But a weak global steel market is dragging down demand for iron ore from the Midwest. And Canadian grain is increasingly going by train to the West Coast on its way to Asia.  Go to full article
Congressman Bill Owens hosted a group of security officials and business leaders at Clarkson University to discuss trade and travel across the US/Canada border. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Congressman Bill Owens hosted a group of security officials and business leaders at Clarkson University to discuss trade and travel across the US/Canada border. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Travel, job creation on table at Owens US/Canada border forum

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, crossing the border with Canada has become a much more difficult experience. Congressman Bill Owens hosted a group of security officials and business leaders at Clarkson University on Friday, April 5, to talk about how to move people and goods over the border securely, and create jobs.  Go to full article
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
A Seaway freighter passes under the bridge near Massena in December 2012. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Seaway digs out from recession

The St. Lawrence Seaway, and its commerce between Great Lakes ports and countries around the world, got hammered by the recession.

Craig Middlebrooks, acting administrator for the U.S. side of the binational waterway, says the steep drop was between 2008 and 2009. "It was almost a 25 percent drop. And I think '09 tonnage was among the lowest for decades."

Middlebrooks says the Seaway's been creeping back to pre-recession levels since then. Last year helped. Tonnage rose almost four percent, driven by coal and iron ore exports to China and Europe and U.S. steel imports. Industrial wind components also continue to be strong.  Go to full article
Hakmet product specialist Jeff Lancaster. (Photo: Lucy Martin)
Hakmet product specialist Jeff Lancaster. (Photo: Lucy Martin)

Curiosity fuels Ottawa's farm show

The Ottawa Valley Farm Show recently marked its 85th year with a three-day run at the new CE Centre next to Ottawa's main airport. This event started as a seed fair in Pembroke and grew into the largest farm show in Eastern Ontario.

As you'd expect, a lot of the space is devoted to pitching shiny new machinery. Lucy Martin stopped at the Hakmet display to ask vendor Jeff Lancaster how these big shows work from his side of the booth.  Go to full article
Should America be listening to Stephen Harper?
Should America be listening to Stephen Harper?

Canada is an idea factory for good government, but few Americans listening

This week, in partnership with WBEZ public radio in Chicago, Brian Mann has been traveling in Ontario, comparing and contrasting that province's economy during the recession with conditions here at home.

We've talked about everything from Canada's social safety net to immigration to public sector jobs. Brian's back home this morning in New York and he joined Martha Foley on the line to talk about the range of economic and public policy ideas being tested north of the border.  Go to full article
[This] is going to be a bureaucratic nightmare and is going to have limits on trade. It's really going to adversely affect our district.

Owens moves to roll back customs fee for some travellers from Canada

A new free-trade agreement with Colombia includes a tax on Canadians visiting the U.S. by air or sea...and one North Country lawmaker has already set out to repeal the fee.

US Congressman Bill Owens, said Monday the recently-signed United States Colombian Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act...includes a $5.50 customs inspection fee for Canadians entering the U.S. by plane or boat.

Owens is in the early stages of introducing legislation to roll back the Canadian fees. He visited Ottawa last week and discussed the potential impacts of the tax with Canadian policymakers.  Go to full article
Administrator Collister Johnson (Source:  SLSDC)
Administrator Collister Johnson (Source: SLSDC)

Top Seaway administrator says ship traffic up, improvements coming

The St. Lawrence Seaway is one of the biggest shipping channels in the world, stretching from the Atlantic to Lake Ontario. In recent years, the system of locks and channels has struggled to build traffic and attract companies interested in shipping cargos through to the Great Lakes.

This year, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, which operates the US side of the channel,is requesting $34 million dollars in appropriations from Congress. The money will go to operate the locks in Massena, and it will be used to fund upgrades to the system.

Brian Mann spoke with Collister Johnson, who heads the Development Corporation. He says traffic on the Seaway is rebounding.  Go to full article

Local business leader cuffed, detained repeatedly at US-Canada border

A top business leader in the North Country says reforms are needed along the US-Canada border. Sylvie Nelson, head of Saranac Lake's chamber of commerce, has been detained and handcuffed repeatedly. As Jon Alexander reports, the issue of border security came up during a meeting last week with Plattsburgh congressman Bill Owens.  Go to full article
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson hopes containers (below) will revive the waterway's fortunes.
U.S. Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson hopes containers (below) will revive the waterway's fortunes.

Seaway chief hopes for traffic turnaround

On the St. Lawrence Seaway's website, there's a picture of a freighter docked next to mountains of "containers" - those boxes that fit on trucks and trains and carry virtually every good you can think of. Containers are the currency of global trade. Yet they're passing the St. Lawrence Seaway by. Just a tenth of one percent of all cargo that travelled the St. Lawrence Seaway this year came in a container. Most of the cargo is bulk commodities, stuff like iron ore, coal, steel, and grain - the building blocks of industry that just disappear when the economy tanks. So it's no surprise 2009 was a brutal year for the Seaway, with tonnage down 30%. In fact, Seaway traffic has for the most part decreased since the late 1970s. This all gives Terry Johnson a headache. As head of the U.S. side of the shipping channel that links the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, Johnson's in charge of turning those numbers around. He told David Sommerstein if gas goes back up to 4 dollars a gallon, or if the roads become clogged with truck traffic, the Seaway will benefit. But for now, Johnson places his hopes in those containers. And he hopes they'll come from Nova Scotia.  Go to full article

With bridge still closed, locals in Akewsasne and Cornwall push for talks

Locals in the Akwesasne Mohawk community and in the Ontario city of Cornwall are pressing the Canadian government to begin talks aimed at reopening the Seaway International bridge. Officials from Cornwall were planning to travel to Ottawa today and a community meeting is planned for Friday. The route from New York to Ontario was closed nearly two weeks ago, after Mohawks protested a plan to arm border agents with pistols. Brian Mann was at the border yesterday and has our story.  Go to full article

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