BEIJING (AP) China’s November exports accelerated but import growth slumped in a sign the recovery of the world’s second-largest economy might be slowing.
Exports surged 12.7 percent over a year earlier to $202.2 billion, up from October’s 5.6 percent expansion, trade data showed Sunday.
Imports rose 5.3 percent to $168.4 billion, but that growth was down from the previous month’s 7.6 percent.
China’s economic growth rebounded in the three months ending in September to 7.8 percent after plunging to a two-decade low the previous quarter. But forecasters have warned that was likely to be temporary and growth would fall back late this year or early in 2014.
The rebound was driven by a government mini-stimulus based on higher spending on building railways and other public works.
Chinese leaders are trying to guide the economy to slower, more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption instead of exports and investment. An unexpectedly sharp decline raised the risk of politically volatile job losses and prompted them to reverse course temporarily to prop up growth.
The relative strength in November exports should help to reassure communist leaders who faced the prospect of job losses in trade-dependent industries due to weak global demand.
Slower Chinese growth and weaker demand would have global repercussions for suppliers of raw materials, technology and consumer goods.
The import slowdown caused China’s global trade surplus to widen by 73 percent to $33.8 billion over a year earlier, one of its widest trade gaps this year.
China’s trade surplus with the 27-nation European Union was $10.2 billion, while that with the United States was $22.4 billion.
General Administration of Customs of China (in Chinese): www.customs.gov.cn
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The automotive graveyard is filled with attempts to capture women buyers. Some are tacky, others are just called the Volkswagen Eos and capture that market on their own. That’s not stopping Mitsubishi Fuso from trying to bring more women into the commercial truck market with the new Canter Eco Hybrid Canna concept.
Of course, it’s pink. Even though there were apparently 9 women on the planning team, the theme of the Canna concept is “cute” and “comfort,” because that’s what Fuso thinks is going to get more women into the commercial truck industry. We get that they’ve tried to make it cute, but how is it more comfortable? Color-coordinated plastic mirror caps don’t scream comfort and a white interior makes me think it’s harder to clean. So, no, not comfortable at all.
The yellow on the tires is at least interesting, though.
Still, this probably isn’t the way to sell women on the idea they suddenly need a commercial truck because it’s painted like a prop from a children’s TV show. Perhaps they should just ask VW instead of reading archival data about the Dodge La Femme1.
Photo: Mitsubishi Fuso
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Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library / via Federal Highway Administration
President Reagan signs the Surface Transportation Assistance Act into law, sparking a fight with the trucking industry.
Automakers like General Motors, BMW, and Volkswagen are making a big effort to get more Americans into diesel-powered cars.
There are lots of reasons to love diesel cars1: They offer a ton of torque and excellent fuel economy, and they’re not as dirty and loud as they once were we were thrilled with the latest diesel Audis2.
But the fact remains that in the U.S., diesel is more expensive than the gasoline that powers nearly all our passenger vehicles and that’s an obstacle to growing its popularity.
Why is that the case, when the reverse is true in Europe?
The difference dates back to a bitter conflict between President Ronald Reagan, Congress, and the trucking industry, and unfortunately it’s not going anywhere.
Entering office in 1981, Reagan soon recognized the need to increase funding for the country s highway system: Four thousand miles of highway needed resurfacing and 23,000 bridges needed repair or replacement.
That need gave birth to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) of 1982. Because trucks cause more damage to roads than passenger cars, the bill included a higher user tax on heavy trucks, along with a $.05 per gallon increase on gasoline and diesel taxes. At the time, the two fuels were taxed equally.
That fear was confirmed in a 1984 report4 from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which estimated taxes on very heavy trucks (70,000 pounds and up) would jump from $1,506 to $1,742, or from $1.40 to $1.56 per mile driven.
And at least a quarter of that would have to be paid at the start of the fiscal year, adding an extra financial burden.
The powerful American Trucking Associations (ATA) was appalled by the proposal, according to a detailed account of the legislative battle5 by Richard Weingroff, an information liaison specialist at the Federal Highway Administration.
ATA President Bennett C. Whitlock, Jr. talked to quite a few senators,” he told the Washington Post at the time. “We’re asking them to vote against the conference report and to start over again in the next session of Congress in establishing new truck-use fees.
The heavy truck fees were supposed to take effect in July 1984. They never did.
A Tax Is Born
After losing the battle in the legislature, the trucking industry kept up its vocal opposition. Two days after the bill became law, the Washington Post ran a story calling the truck lobby one of the best-financed and strongest interest groups on Capitol Hill.
The article noted that the ATA s political action committee gave nearly $300,000 to 398 congressional candidates during the 1982 elections.
Rep. James J. Howard (D-NJ) told The Post he saw the ATA s loss as an aberration due to the fact there was a tremendous push for a jobs bill and a huge highway and transit bill.
In late January, the issue became violent. Despite opposition from the ATA and other industry groups, the Independent Truckers Association led a strike by drivers around the country, The New York Times reported7.
In addition to striking, opponents of the fee began attacking drivers who continued on their routes. One trucker, George Franklin Capps of North Carolina, was shot through the neck by a sniper and killed while driving. Seven other North Carolina drivers were shot at, according to The New York Times.
California trucker Howard N. Adams was shot in the chest and lived, and a 14-year-old girl was riding in a car near Pittsburgh when she was hit in the head with a brick that was apparently thrown at a truck from an overpass.
The strike did not last long and was never widespread, but the violence it kicked up highlighted the passion among truckers over the use fees.
It didn t take long for popular opinion to shift against the use fee. The month the bill became law, the Department of Transportation signaled it would be willing to see the truck fees replaced with an increased tax on diesel, the fuel used by large trucks and a few passenger cars.
By February of the next year, The New York Times was referring8 to the highly unpopular truck-tax legislation passed in 1982, and Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole put forward a plan to reduce the fee and increase the tax rate on diesel.
The idea behind taxing diesel is that it s used by all trucks, but few passenger cars. That way, trucks still pay their fair share, in accordance with how much time they spend on the road and they re not hit with large fees they must pay up front.
In 1984, Reagan signed the Deficit Reduction Act (raising taxes by $50 billion) into law, sharply cutting the use fee and raising the tax on diesel from $.09/gallon to $.14/gallon. A report from the Joint Committee on Taxation explained the rationale:
Higher rates scheduled to take effect under the Highway Revenue Act of 1982 would have imposed a large tax on trucking operations which did not necessarily relate to the amount of business they might do, and that an alternative form of highway excise taxation should be devised which is more definitely correlated with the use of trucks. Therefore, Congress decided to substitute a high diesel fuel tax for a lower use tax.
Where We Are Now
GM introduced Chevy Cruze Diesel this year.
Since then, diesel has been taxed more heavily than gasoline. Today, the federal excise tax on gasoline is $0.184/gallon. For diesel, it s $0.244/gallon.
The 1984 law included a tax credit to help out owners of diesel-powered light vehicles. That tax credit no longer exists, though you do get a break if you buy diesel9 for use on a farm, a nonprofit educational organization, or an aircraft museum.
And while it s possible that kind of credit could be reinstated, there are more calls for raising fuel taxes than lowering them even from the trucking lobby.
The diesel tax is a fair way to account for the impact trucks have on the road, Darrin Roth, director of highway operations at the American Trucking Associations, said in an interview. We think it should be even higher than it is.
It s clear, he said, that there isn t enough money going into highways for necessary repairs and expansions, both of which help truckers.
Stephen Comstock, tax policy manager at the American Petroleum Institute, said he is starting to see strong interest in the idea of bumping up taxes. Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called on Congress to raise the gas tax earlier this month.
You ve got to have a big pot of money. We don t have it now.
If those taxes do go up, there s no reason to believe they would suddenly be equaled.
There are other ways to get more funding to the Highway Trust Fund. Oregon has looked at taxation based on vehicle miles, Comstock said, but that s considerably more complicated than just taxing fuel.
And what about going back to the original idea of creating a fee for trucks and taxing gasoline and diesel equally?
We wouldn t be in favor of that, Roth, of the American Trucking Associations, said.
Sorry, automakers. That diesel tax isn t going anywhere.
- ^ lots of reasons to love diesel cars (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ we were thrilled with the latest diesel Audis (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ December 1982 New York Times article (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ confirmed in a 1984 report (www.gao.gov)
- ^ detailed account of the legislative battle (www.fhwa.dot.gov)
- ^ Reagan signed the bill into law (www.reagan.utexas.edu)
- ^ The New York Times reported (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ The New York Times was referring (www.nytimes.com)
- ^ you do get a break if you buy diesel (www.irs.gov)
- ^ he said at an event (mobilitylab.org)
- ^ according to The Washington Post (articles.washingtonpost.com)
- ^ according to Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com)
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Our friendly and experienced team can help you with any of your queries and provide you with a free quote.
FGI is a long established freight forwarding specialist with a wide experience of importing and exporting goods across Europe. Our daily groupage service lets us combine small consignments with larger loads giving you lower costs and quicker delivery. Offering a 24/7, 365 day a year service – we never stop hauling.
What we can do for you
This summer, General Motors (NYSE:GM1) was all about the launch of its highly anticipated next-generation pickups, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Recognizing that a recovering economy coupled with a recovering U.S. auto industry translated to more interested American buyers ready to drive the redesigned trucks, GM rolled out an expensive marketing campaign2 and encouraged dealers to tout the new vehicles many alluring features. The problem the automaker now faces, however, is that no one is willing to buy them.
According to Automotive News, dealers are complaining about flattened demand for the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra3, and they blame the vehicles high price tags for consumers lack of interest. Though the dealers recognizes the trucks merits, they insist that GM needs to offer more alluring offers that counteract competition from heavily discounted Ford (NYSE:F4) and Chrysler Ram trucks, but GM has so far refused.
That s because the U.S. automaker recognizes that it is selling new redesigned pickups while its competitors are in sell-down mode, meaning they re willing to highly discount their vehicles just to get them off the lots. The price of a popular Silverado model, for example, is $43, 005 after factoring in incentives, while the 2013 F-150 model is $40, 385, but GM execs maintain the position that this is a temporary period that will soon end, and GM spokesman Jim Cain explains, You don t ever want to let the oldest trucks in the market dictate strategy for the newest and best truck in the market.
State-owned Eskom on Monday said it had cut back on its coal-hauling times on the back of a recent spate of driver fatalities on Mpumalanga roads.
The trucking of coal to Eskom s power stations, which was an around-the-clock operation, would be halted from 18:00 on Fridays to 06:00 on Sundays the period said to have accounted for 36% of fatal road accidents.
Speeding, fatigue, poor visibility, road conditions, contravention of the rules of the road and alcohol were found to be some of the main factors contributing to the accidents over the past three years, Eskom noted, citing information sourced from the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison s road safety and law enforcement division for the Gert Sibande district.
The majority of the coal-haul road network fell in the Gert Sibande district.
Over the past three months, Eskom consulted various stakeholders in the transport and coal-mining industry to review options to improve safety on the coal-haulage routes in Mpumalanga.
This intervention will result in increased rest time for truck drivers and all transporters staff, which will aid in fatigue management and allow for regular intervals to conduct in-depth maintenance and mechanical performance testing of trucks to further minimise incidents resulting from mechanical failure, Eskom said in a statement.
Last year, about 14-million tons of coal had been transported by Eskom s contracted coal road-haulage companies, with another 20-million tons moved by companies contracted directly with mining companies that supply Eskom s power stations.
All stakeholders, including the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison, the Chamber of Mines and Eskom s logistics and mining partners, would continue to review the implementation of this safety initiative to ensure that operations continue to run smoothly, Eskom concluded.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
McCorstin (left) is the new president of UPS Asia-Pacific freight forwarding
U.S.-based package delivery conglomerate United Parcel Service (UPS) has named industry veteran Jeff McCorstin president of UPS Freight Forwarding in Asia-Pacific.
Based in Singapore, McCorstin assumes responsibilities for air, ocean, road and rail freight strategy, revenue growth, and specialized transportation services across 40 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific.
McCorstin has been with UPS for 23 years, starting as a package delivery driver in California, U.S., in 1990, and rising to leadership roles in engineering, finance, strategy, and most recently, freight forwarding.
We will continue to look into high-growth sectors such as health care, high- tech, retail, and automotive across Asia-Pacific, McCorstin said.
Prior to his post as senior vice president of international air and ocean freight, McCorstin worked under various business functions at the UPS headquarters in Atlanta, UPS global hub Worldport in Louisville, Kentucky, and several districts within the United States.
In 2005, McCorstin relocated to Brussels, Belgium, where he was named chief financial officer of UPS Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He was named managing director of UPS EMEA Freight Forwarding in 2008.
McCorstin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of California and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from San Diego State University.