Today’s Pickup: U.S.-China trade truce is good first step, but road ahead is unclear

Weeklong crackdown readied for I-94; Carbon tax in France results in widespread riots.

Good day,

The Christmas Truce declared in the U.S.-China trade war is delivering up presents to investors this morning. Over the weekend, the U.S. said it would not go forward with an additional 25% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, while China agreed to buy more U.S. products to close a $301 billion trade deficit with its largest customer. In response, shares of Chinese companies rose over 2% in Monday trading while the Dow Jones Industrial Index saw a 1.3% gain in morning trading. But the U.S. and China will only have 90 days to hash out difference that have festered since China joined the world economy in 2001, and some observers see a gulf in expectations between the two already. The U.S. statement on the truce laid out specific areas to address such as restrictions on non-Chinese firms entering local markets and forced technology transfers. But China’s statement on the talks did not mention those issues. China said it would be willing to import more goods based “on needs of the Chinese people and to gradually address” trade imbalances. But the U.S. promised that China would buy a “substantial amount” of U.S. agriculture, energy and industrial products. “ Economics professor Tyler Cowan said of the truce, “This was a classic exercise in can-kicking.

Did you know?

Bitcoin, the once-hot virtual currency investment, has lost 72% of its value this year. The decline comes amid a widespread crackdown by the Securities and Exchange Commission on promoters of virtual currencies, with the latest targets being boxer Floyd Mayweather and music producer DJ Khaled.


“We hope to increase awareness by means of high visibility enforcement on the I-94 corridor, which is prone to weather-related crashes this time of year involving interstate commercial vehicle drivers.”

Michigan State Police Captain Michael Krumm on this week’s ticket blitz targeting I-94 through Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan.

In other news:

Swedish autonomous trucking startup starts up

Einride debuts all-electric, human-free truck for logistics firm DB Schenker. (Wired)

Hyundai Merchant Marine mulls 2M Alliance departure

Korean carrier said to have upset Maersk and MSC with move to order more ships. (Business Korea)

Philadelphia to expand its air cargo capability

Philadelphia International Airport tacks on additional land for air cargo. (KYW 1060)

Iowa freight broker sentenced for factoring fraud

David Giannetto ordered to pay $870,000 in restitution to Farmers State Bank. (The Gazette)

Massport seeks additional $1 billion for air and sea expansion

Port Authority to expand Logan Airport and Conley Container Terminal (Hull Times)

Final Thoughts

Climate change is expected to have a major impact on the world economy in the years ahead, as was laid out in a recent U.S. Congressional report on the topic. But the path to mitigating that challenge is also proving tricky to navigate. For example, France, one of the signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement, was unable to meet the its own goals of reducing carbon dioxide output this year, instead it saw a 3.6% increase over its target levels. To help meet the goals, France introduced higher taxes on diesel and gasoline, amounting to about 30 cents and 20 cents per gallon, respectively. The tax increase, which went into effect earlier this month, has resulted in major riots in central Paris, with 133 injuries and 412 arrests over the weekend.

Hammer down everyone!


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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.