U.S., China sign new maritime agreement
The United States and China were expected to sign a new bilateral maritime agreement late Monday afternoon.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta and China’s Communications Minister Zhang Chunxian will sign the agreement, described by U.S. officials in a statement as “sweeping.”
The previous bilateral maritime agreement expired in 1998.
Both sides agreed on the text for the new agreement following meetings in Washington in April. Until Monday’s signing ceremony, neither side would publicize the contents of the agreement, nor its impact on industry issues raised by shippers, non-vessel-operating common carriers, and vessel-operating common carriers.
U.S. Maritime Administrator William G. Schubert is credited with initiating the agreement discussions with his Chinese counterparts.
“The United States receives more cargo shipments from China than any other country in the world, with more than 3.2 million containers moving between the two countries each year,” the DOT said. “This agreement is expected to generate even more business for American shipping.”