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Turkey Experiences Limited Shipping Disruption after Tumultuous Weekend
BY CHRIS DUPIN, American Shipper, July 19, 2016

Following the attempted coup d'etat over the weekend, Turkey has experienced limited shipping and operational disruptions to the logistics industry throughout the nation. "There has been no impact to operations at the Turkish Straits following the attempted coup in Turkey, with all passages taking place as per schedule," maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Solutions said. "However, vessel clearances cannot currently be granted at Karadeniz Ereğli anchorage, as well as some other anchorage areas including Mersin."
Inchcape also added, "There are also some delays to sailing clearances due to extra security by the authorities.

At some ports, sailing permission from the Harbor Master is being withheld until vessels' completion of immigration clearance." The maritime services provider expressed how it is working with its clients to minimize possible delays and will keep them updated.

"We did not observe any problems or disruption. The ports were fully operational during and after the attempt. The normalization was rapid and business continues as usual. Work resumed like any other Monday after the weekend," said one executive, who asked, however, that he and his firm not be identified. "In fact, it is business as normal, said Michael Storgaard, a spokesman for Danish liner carrier Maersk Line. "Our operations have not been impacted and business activity (bookings, phone calls, etc.) seems to be as per usual." Tugba Kizilay, an account executive at Turkon America, said the carrier's office in Turkey reported there was no issue and ships were working normally.

Turkey's ports are key destinations for container liner services calling the Eastern Mediterranean. The list, gathered from ocean carrier schedule and capacity database BlueWater Reporting's Port Dashboard tool, illustrates the liner services frequenting ports in Turkey. All of these loops operate with fully cellular containerships, with the exception of Nordana's Med/LAM/USA service, which operates with roll-on/roll-off vessels; and Grimaldi's Euro-Med Service, which operates with pure car/truck carriers.

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Turkey Update on Global Trade
ource: BlueWater Reporting - 30 July 2016
Free navigation through the Bosphorous and Dardenelles is essential for ports in Russia, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania as well as northern Turkey. Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world, and in less than a decade, the nation's per capita income has tripled and now exceeds $10,500, according to World Bank.

"Turkey's rising prosperity has been shared. Between 2002 and 2012, the consumption of the bottom 40 percent increased at around the same rate as the national average," World Bank said. "Over the same period, extreme poverty fell from 13 to 4.5 percent and moderate poverty fell from 44 to 21 percent, while access to health, education, and municipal services vastly improved for the less well-off. Since the global financial crisis, Turkey has created some 6.3 million jobs, although increases in the labor force, including through a rise in the participation of women, has kept unemployment at around 10 percent."

The European Union is Turkey's number one import and export partner, while Turkey ranks as the EU?s seventh largest source of imports and fifth largest destination for exports.

Turkey's top markets for exports are the EU, Iraq, Russia, the US, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, while the nation sources most of its imports from the EU, Russia, China, the US, Iran and South Korea, the European Commission
said.

The US Department of Census says
that in 2015, the US exported goods valued at just over $9.5 billion and imported goods valued at nearly $7.9 billion. In the first five months of this year US exports amounted to $4.35 billion and imports $3.33 billion.

The US Trade Representative (USTR) said that Turkey was the 26th largest goods export market in 2013, with the top export categories being oil, iron and steel, aircraft, machinery, and cotton yarn and fabric. The country was the 11th largest market for agricultural exports, with major exports being cotton, tree nuts, soybean meal and soybeans that year.

In the same year, Turkey was the US's 41st largest supplier of goods imports, with major imports including vehicles, machinery, iron and steel, iron and steel products and stone, plaster, cement, travertine and marble. Leading agricultural imports from Turkey include tobacco, processed fruit and vegetables, and vegetable oils, said the USTR.

A report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) published in June said annual GDP growth was projected to remain close to 4 percent this year and in 2017.

"A sharp hike in the minimum wage and social transfers in early 2016 will boost private consumption. However, the associated increase in labor costs, despite subsidies to alleviate them in the first year, will hurt competitiveness and exports. As the short-run impact of the jump in household income wanes, growth is projected to edge down in 2017," it said. "Business and household confidence remain frail in the context of severe regional geopolitical tensions and a difficult domestic political climate" and that "Productivity is undermined by the fragmentation of the business sector. Efficient firms cannot grow at full potential due to shortcomings in the regulatory framework. At the same time, low-productivity entities, which employ a large share of the low-skilled, survive thanks to the incomplete enforcement of rules and regulations."

OECD highlighted the risks to Turkey's economy from events such as this week's coup, saying "if regional and domestic tensions were to intensify, domestic demand and tourism would be adversely affected. Any associated weakening in international confidence may trigger capital outflows and exchange rate volatility, weighing on short-term growth." The report also said, "Turkey is exposed to global risks arising from China's prospects and from the expected normalization of US monetary policy and would be negatively affected by a slowdown in Europe."

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ITC presses White House to make HTS changes
American Shipper - July 29, 2016
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has recommended to the White House that certain changes to the country's Harmonized Tariff Schedule be made to conform with the World Customs Organization?s amendments to the global harmonized system.

The ITC said the modifications concern classification of edible fish offal; new subdivisions for coniferous and non-coniferous wood; new HTS subheadings for certain types of wood including pine, fir, spruce, beech, birch, poplar, aspen and eucalyptus; and certain bed-nets of warp knit fabrics.

The WCO approved the changes to the harmonized system nomenclature in June 2015. Countries worldwide must incorporate the changes into their own nomenclature systems. The ITC maintains and updates the US HTS.
"Following expiration of a 60-day layover period before the Congress, the president is authorized to proclaim the modifications to the HTS," the ITC said in a statement. The amendments will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2018.

The ITC's report, Commission Recommendations to the President to Modify the Tariff Nomenclature in Chapters 3, 44, and 63 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, is available on the USITC website.
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Amazon Wants to Put Drone Platforms on Street Lights and Cell Towers
24/7 - July 21, 2016

For Amazon, which seems determined to lead the field in drone delivery, the answer might come from a recently approved patent: docking stations for drones, installed on existing streetlights and various towers. It looks like Amazon has figured out a way to expand the delivery range of its Prime Air Drones . They want to build docking stations on anything tall that has power running through it. Amazon was recently awarded a patent for " multi-use UAV docking stations and methods
," and the plan goes something like this. They're going to create perches for their drones that can be placed on top of things like cell towers and lampposts. Buildings would be fair game, too, and Amazon also mentions setting up new, dedicated poles for these docking stations in "underserved areas."

Currently, a Prime Air delivery drone's range is rather limited. About the best one can manage is a few miles. These docking stations would change that: if a drone starts running low on power it can head to one of the docks for a quick recharge. These wouldn't necessarily be ordinary batteries, either. Amazon's patent mentions using fuels cells, which would give the drones even greater range. The stations will be networked, which will help Amazon keep close tabs on the activity of its fleet - and ensure that the right drone is handling a delivery.
The patent, like many patents, doesn't necessarily mean that a perch system will ever be put into place. Instead, it shows that Amazon is thinking about drone delivery in a holistic way, imagining and plotting the full steps needed to turn robots into functional mechanical postmen. The docking stations on streetlights is a good first step. Covering a skyscraper in drone landing pads
in the logical and maybe inevitable conclusion.
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tradeinfocus is a summary of news and events on the trade policy front for clients, trade & legislative colleagues, and professional friends of W.J. Byrnes & Co.