Australia Leads Trade in Services Agreement – Australia is leading negotiations on a services-only free trade agreement with the United States and the European Union known as the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Since discussions began in 2013, participation in the TiSA has expanded from 16 to 23 WTO Members including: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, European Union (representing its 28 Member States), Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States.
Read more from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ukraine’s Ports Operating Normally – Despite the political instability and violence in the Ukraine, the ports are operating as usual. Ukraine exports grain, steel, coal, chemicals, fuel and petroleum products, machinery and transport equipment.
Read more from The Maritime Executive.
Port of Portland Terminal Re-Opens – The Port of Portland’s container terminal is open again after members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) who halted work on Tuesday and Wednesday were ordered to return to work. Under an arbitrator’s decision, union members won’t receive pay for the hours they stopped work.
Read more from Oregon Live.
Port Expansion Plans Approved in Australia – Despite warnings of damage reef, Australia has approved a coal port expansion plan that involves dredging 3 million cubic meters of sand that will be dumped near the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), an independent company charged with protecting the barrier reef, has granted a permit to dump sand about 15 miles away from the reef.
Read more from gCaptain.