Customs Trade Partnership Against TerrorismC-TPAT Mutual Recognition Decision – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the European Union (EU) have signed a Mutual Recognition Decision between CBP’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the EU’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program. This decision recognizes the compatibility between the EU and the U.S. cargo security programs and will allow customs authorities to concentrate their resources on risky consignments and better facilitate trade.

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New Colon Container Terminal Approved at Panama – The Panama Canal Maritime Authority has granted permits for a fourth container terminal to be built at the end of the Panama Canal. The $600 million terminal will be built by a consortium of private Asian developers called the Panama Colon Container Port LLC, and will be designed to have an annual capacity of two million TEUs.

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Free Trade Zone Discussed between China, Japan, and South Korea – Trade ministers from China, Japan, and South Korea are scheduled to discuss the possibility of a trilateral free trade area (FTA) this week. However, since the ninth gathering between the officials in China last week, China and South Korea launched negotiations for a bilateral FTA. This could be a risk for Japan which is pushing for a trilateral FTA.

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Civil War Ironclad Inhibits Harbor Dredging – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in charge of the $653 million dredging project to deepen Savannah’s harbor, river, and shipping canal out to sea from 42 feet to 47 feet. However, the wreck of the Confederate States Ship Georgia was scuttled by Confederate sailors in 1864 and now lies 40 feet below the surface of the Savannah River. The Corps plans to contract marine archeologists to survey, salvage, and conserve the historical artifact so that the project can continue. Savannah won’t be able to handle new super-sized container ships coming through the Panama Canal in 2014 until the harbor is dredged.

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