WTO Decides that China’s Rare Earth Restrictions Violate Rules – On Wednesday of this week, a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel decided that China’s export laws restricting rare earth metals violate international trade law. China is by far the largest supplier of rare earth elements and their importance continues to grow as they are used in the manufacture of various technology products including hybrid electric cars, smartphones, and other electronic goods.  While Beijing argues that their restrictions are for environmental reasons, China may face sanctions as a result of the WTO’s decision. 

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Pressure to Change Rest Regulations for Cargo Pilots – After last year’s crash of a UPS freighter in Alabama, the company’s pilots are pushing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to change rest requirements for cargo pilots.  Beginning in January, commercial passenger pilots received new limits to their maximum flying time as well as minimum off hours between flights.  UPS pilots are seeking the same requirements for cargo pilots.   

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Vancouver Port Strike Ends – Vancouver port truckers are expected back at work Thursday after a strike that restricted up to 90% of container activity.  The dispute stemmed from pay issues, specifically unpaid time that drivers spend waiting at the terminals.  As part of the new agreement, the government raised minimum hourly wages for the port truckers.

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