News & Notes

Oct. 19, 2016:
Lexington named top city for 2016 America in Bloom awards
Lexington received top honors at the 2016 America in Bloom (AIB) symposium on Oct. 8 in Arroyo Grande, Calif. The city earned the highest rating of five blooms, and was named the population category winner for communities over 50,000. On the opening day of the symposium, Lexington was recognized for its exceptional efforts related to urban forestry.

Oct. 14, 2016:
Obama eases restrictions on Cuba, lifts limits on rum and cigars
Americans traveling to Cuba will be allowed to bring home more of the communist-ruled island's coveted cigars and rum under new measures announced by the U.S. government on Friday to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions that have been in place for decades.

Oct. 3, 2016: 
World Trade Center Kentucky Expands International Trade Certification Program
The World Trade Center Kentucky has announced today that it will be expanding their International Trade Certification Program in November 2016 in partnership with the law offices of Frost Brown Todd.

Sept. 23, 2016: World Trade Center Kentucky Makes Inaugural Trip to Capitol Hill
The World Trade Center Kentucky (WTC-KY), in partnership with the Kentucky District Export Council (KDEC), is in Washington D.C. today meeting with Senatorial and Congressional staff. Their objective is to review and argue for trade agreements and topics beneficial to Kentucky 3,000 plus businesses engaged in international trade.

Sept. 16, 2016:
Toyota wins Martha Layne Collins Award for Excellence in International Trade for Large Size Enterprises
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) was awarded today with the Martha Layne Collins Award for Excellence in International Trade by the World Trade Center Kentucky (WTC-KY). The annual award, named after Kentucky’s 56th Governor, is given to companies for their accomplishments in international business and ability to successfully navigate global trade markets in order to positively benefit the state.

Sept. 16, 2016:
Justice AV Solutions given Martha Layne Collins Award for Excellence in International Trade for Medium Size Enterprises 
Justice AV Solutions (JAVS) was awarded today with the Martha Layne Collins Award for Excellence in International Trade by the World Trade Center Kentucky. The annual award, named after Kentucky’s 56th Governor, is given to companies for their accomplishments in international business and ability to successfully navigate global trade markets in order to positively benefit the state.

Sept. 16, 2016: 
Phoenix Products wins Martha Layne Collins Award for Excellence in International Trade for 50 employees or less
Phoenix Products, Inc. (PPI) was awarded today with the Martha Layne Collins Award for Excellence in International Trade by the World Trade Center Kentucky (WTC-KY). The annual award, named after Kentucky’s 56th Governor, is given to companies for their accomplishments in international business and ability to successfully navigate global trade markets in order to positively benefit the state.

Sept. 13, 2016: Quarles promotes KDA’s role in trade at Kentucky International Trade Summit
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture can help Kentucky farmers reap tremendous benefits from international trade, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said today at the Kentucky International Trade Summit, a forum for business leaders, trade practitioners, and public officials. Kentucky agricultural exports totaled more than $1.46 billion in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, ranking 27th in the nation.

Sept. 8, 2016:
Ag Commissioner to attend his first Kentucky Trade Summit
The World Trade Center Kentucky (WTC-KY) announced today that Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has confirmed his attendance to the Kentucky International Trade Summit (presented by UPS). In addition to his attendance, Commissioner Quarles will be welcoming Summit attendees at the keynote and awards luncheon.

Sept. 7, 2016:
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton Establishes Kentucky Chapter of Aerospace States Association
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton has joined the Aerospace States Association and established a Kentucky Chapter of the organization. “Since the aerospace/aviation industry is Kentucky’s number one export, it is critical to build positive momentum through a unified effort across the Commonwealth,” said Lt. Gov. Hampton. KY ASA will be holding a chapter kickoff event, October Sky Launch, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 at Morehead State University’s Space Science Center. This event will include an educational session on KY ASA for any interested aerospace/aviation individuals, a networking opportunity for those individuals, a rocket launch, an open Q&A session with the Executive Committee, and the screening of a space-themed film.

August 29,2016:
Lt. Gov. Hampton announces entrepreneurship competition
Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton today announced the inaugural Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge at a press conference featuring Gov. Matt Bevin, Cabinet Secretaries, and educational and business leaders from across Kentucky. “I am thrilled to officially announce the first annual Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge,” said Lt. Gov. Hampton. “The goal of the LGEC is to get entrepreneurship in front of students as an exciting educational experience and as a viable path to a rewarding career.” The LGEC consists of a business plan proposal and live pitch competition. It will include two components: a regional competition and a state competition. Locations for the regional competitions will be determined and announced in early 2017. The state competition will take place on April 29, 2017 at the Gatton College of Business and Economics’ Kincaid Auditorium at the University of Kentucky. The LGEC will be conducted in partnership with Junior Achievement and is supported by the Kentucky Innovation Network.

August 23, 2016:
Kentucky’s aviation and aerospace growth is out of this world
Engineers watched a few weeks ago from a control room inside an old building on Short Street in Lexington as a small box was pushed into place aboard the International Space Station. Designed and built in Kentucky under the direction of Kentucky-based Space Tango, the box is a laboratory called TangoLab 1 filled with 21 cubes capable of running different bioengineering experiments simultaneously. As a screen on the front of the laboratory lit up after installation, Space Tango founder Kris Kimel breathed a sigh of relief. “See the lights come on?” he told members of the Interim Joint Committee on Labor and Industry today as they watched a short video recording of the event. “It would have been really bad if they didn’t come on. So we were quite pleased with that.”

August 15, 2016:
Kentucky ranked 4th in 2015 in business capital investments, at $5.6B
Kentucky ranked fourth in the nation last year in business capital investments, according to an annual report prepared by the Ernst & Young LLP Quantitative Economics and Statistics (QUEST) and Indirect Tax Incentives practices. Kentucky’s capital investment in 2015 was $5.6 billion, trailing only Texas ($48.3 billion), Louisiana ($33.9 billion) and California ($7 billion). Kentucky also accounted for 17,400 mobile project jobs, eighth best in the nation, behind Texas (38,400), Tennessee (27,700), Ohio (25,800), California (22,200), Florida (19,400), North Carolina (19,100) and Michigan (18,200). Overall, the report found that U.S. business investment projects accounted for $166 billion in capital investment in 2015. More than 5,400 business investments were announced in 2015 and are expected to create or retain more than 402,000 jobs in the U.S.. Although the total amount of capital is $16 billion higher than the previous year, there was a 2 percent decrease in the total number of projected jobs.

August 9, 2016:
Kentucky TPP advocates tout trade agreement, say it would benefit the commonwealth
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement – TPP – is one of the hottest potatoes in this year’s presidential election. Donald Trump says he is for free trade but against TPP. Hillary Clinton was for TPP but now she’s against it. President Obama has staked a part of his legacy on getting TPP passed, saying, “The more we sell abroad, the more higher-paying jobs we support here at home.” Sen. Bernie Sanders, who made TPP a centerpiece of his race for the Democratic presidential nomination, calls it “a disaster, designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world.”

August 6, 2016:
American manufacturing isn't dead — it's just not where you think it is
America has been de-industrializing for decades, as manufacturing becomes automated and moves to cheaper offshore locations. Meanwhile, a growing chorus of economists believe the United States economy has entered an era of ongoing stagnation and is no longer nearly as innovative as it once was. But a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution finds that what it calls advanced industries—which span the sectors of advanced technology services, advanced manufacturing, and energy production—have continued to grow and create good high-paying jobs. That said, this growth has not spread everywhere or in large enough measure.

August 3, 2016:
LG&E and KU request approval to create a community solar field
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company requested permission from the Kentucky Public Service Commission today to develop a “community” solar facility in Shelby County. If approved, the subscription-based Solar Share Program would include constructing a regional facility for the utilities’ residential, business and industrial customers interested in sharing in local solar energy and receiving solar energy credits generated from the facility. The site, along Interstate 64 in the KU service territory near LG&E, is large enough to accommodate a 4 megawatt (DC) solar field. However, Solar Share will be built in 500-kilowatt sections based on customer interest. Construction will begin once a 500-kilowatt section is 100 percent subscribed. Likewise, construction on the next section and those following will require 100 percent subscription before each section is built.

August 2, 2016:
TangoLab-1 Installed on International Space Station
At approximately 4:45am EDT Monday, August 1, AmericanAstronaut Jeff Williams, onboard the International Space Station (ISS), permanently installed TangoLab-1. The installation follows the successful SpaceX CRS-9 launch on July 18, 2016 from Kennedy Space Center. Space Tango CEO Twyman Clements reported that all flight computers are fully operational and all other systems are “green” and functioning properly. TangoLab-1 is a multipurpose automated technology resident platform that enables R&D, bioengineeringand manufacturing in the microgravity environment of space … particularly in the area of Exomedicine … centering on the pursuit of biomedical solutions in microgravity for applications on Earth. Initial experiments will test power safety, data streaming and heat mapping. First rounds of physical and biological science experimentation will fly on SpaceX CRS-10 in November.

July 28, 2016:
Kentucky Power awards Ashland grant for aerospace development
An economic development effort that could attract up to 300 jobs to eastern Kentucky received an $84,000 grant from Kentucky Power on Thursday. The grant was awarded to Ashland Alliance and will be used to attract the aerospace industry by gaining AirReady Certification by Common Sense Economic Development for Boyd and Greenup counties. The Alliance also plans to use the grant to fund an extensive marketing campaign to promote industrial sites in the region to the aerospace industry and other businesses. Many folks in the region don’t necessarily think of aerospace science and Kentucky, but according to Ashland Alliance President & CEO, Tim Gibbs it is the leading export in the state leading the way by $2.6 billion over other exports.

July 15, 2016:
India’s Ports Showing Healthy Growth
The prospects of trading with India look to be improving. In an article posted by Global Trade, two of India’s major ports showed record numbers. The Murmagao port increased its margins by roughly 104%. A large amount of this growth is a direct result of advancements trough technology made to the port.

July 15, 2016:
Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal Talks, 14 Rounds In, Are Faltering. What’s at Stake?
While Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) might seem irrelevant to some, TPP will play a crucial role in international trade in the coming years. The eleven countries included in TPP are discussing details of the FTA, attempting to reach an agreement that would benefit their economies because it would level the playing field against large exporting markets such as China, who are not included in the agreement. Many of the advantages that come with TPP involve large markets for the Chinese such as technology and car industries. After nearly 14 rounds of discussion, the eleven countries involved have yet to reach an agreement and it is unlikely that they will achieve one by the end of this year. Learn more about TPP and the major topics of discussion that make this FTA both potentially lucrative but certainly complicated.

July 12, 2016:
Philippines wins South China Sea case against China
China has lost a pivotal case involving its claimed territorial rights over reefs and atolls in the South China sea. The area, which China claims has been used for centuries by Chinese fisherman, is considerably closer to the Philippines, and has never been the exclusive territory of China or Chinese fisherman, the court ruled. Further, the court found that the so-called islands, where China has begun building airstrips on formerly submerged seamounts, are uninhabitable, and do not constitute sovereign territory. However, China has also stated that it would not abide by the tribunal’s decision, and that it does not recognize the authority of the court.

July 9, 2016:
Invasion of the bottle snatchers
With roughly 20 Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with countries, FTAs have been an influential force behind the United States economy for several years. In the article, John Murphy, U.S. Chamber senior vice president for international policy, outlines discusses that exporting for U.S. businesses is more expensive than importing goods. Therefore, FTAs level the playing field so that those companies can compete with foreign competitors. Most recently, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offers the most potential for growth for exporting countries. In the article, the Peterson Institute for International Economic outlines that the trade agreement will increase U.S. exports by $357 billion per year by 2030 and boost U.S. income by $131 billion. A large amount of this exporting potential is projected to be developed in the eleven countries involved in TPP.

July 7, 2016: Why Some Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs are Flocking to Kansas City   
Kansas City is seeing some of its largest rise in young entrepreneurs since the 2008 recession. This rise is credited to the city’s low cost of living while still having the presence of influential businesses and institutions. Kansas City has also recently developed its downtown area, providing free wifi as well as a street car that runs right thru the central business district of the city. These benefits have made the region more attractive to young entrepreneurs than the tech areas of Silicon Valley. With new talent and ambitious talent joining its workforce, Kansas City seems to be the new it spot.

July 6, 2016: 
Gov. Bevin launches business initiative to curb regulatory red tape
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is calling on his entrepreneurial background to cut through the mounds of business regulations that he says are outdated or impede business growth in the state. Bevin unveiled the Red Tape Reduction Initiative earlier today as a vehicle to remove regulatory hurdles that create hardships for business owners and employees alike in the state. Another goal, according to a news release from the governor's office, is to reduce the level of government bureaucracy that affects Kentucky businesses.

July 4,2016: UAE Urges Citizens To Avoid Traditional Dress Abroad After Man Mistaken For ISIS Terrorist In Ohio
The United Arab Emirates known as UAE nationals have been urged by the country’s government not to wear traditional clothing when traveling abroad. The UAE’s foreign ministry gave a speech on Sunday advising Emirati people to be careful about what they wear outside of the country.

July 4, 2016: China completes the world's largest telescope to find aliens
China has completed the world’s largest radio telescope project after 5 years. This 4,450 panels into the center of the 500m-wide Aperture Spherical Telescope will be lunch on from September. According to Zheng Xiaonian, deputy head of the National Astronomical Observation under the Chinese Academy Science, this project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life.

July 4, 2016: NASA’s Juno Mission Live Stream: Solar-Powered Spacecraft Nears Jupiter After Five Year Voyage
After a five-year-long voyage which took about 1.8 billion miles of space, NASA’s Juno spacecraft finally bearing down on Jupiter. According to Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, nine science instruments designed to look through Jupiter’s thick veil, will initiate a series of steps at 9:16 p.m. EDT in preparation for main engine burn. Then there will be a 35 minute orbit insertion process which will begin at 11:18 p.m. EDT live on NASA TV.

July 4, 2016: Brexit: UK Treasury Chief George Osborne Announces Plan To Slash Corporate Tax
On June 27, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne speaks at a news conference in Central London. Osborne announced last week a plan to cut the corporation tax to 17 percent by April of 2020. According to chancellor, “the United Kingdom must get on with this plan to prove to investors that the country is still open for business”.

July 4, 2016: The first signs of post-Brexit financial stress: property fund suspended
After the initial post-Brexit sell-off in sterling and equities, financial markets had quietened down in the wake of the shock referendum result. The FTSE 100 even moved ahead of its pre-Brexit level. But investor concerns have shown up in another market - property, Today Standard Life, the Scottish insurer, suspended redemptions in its UK Retail property fund, with £2.9 billion of assets under management. Here is the press release.

July 4, 2016:
Among the hurdles U.S. hotels face in Cuba: A booming Airbnb presence
Cuban officials agree there is plenty of room, and demand, for new hotels in the country, especially if the United States further eases rules to allow more Americans to travel there. Cuba — which had 3.5 million visitors last year, according to government statistics — currently has 62,900 hotel rooms, many of which are in various states of disrepair.But a number of hurdles remain, including the U.S. trade embargo and travel restrictions that limit U.S. interactions with Cuba.On top of that, there are concerns about infrastructure, including access to flights, building supplies and materials and being able to import food and beverages.

June 30, 2016: Trade agreements help Kentucky Farmers
Richard Strode, of the Kentucky Corn Growers Association in Owensboro explains that the Trans Pacific Partnership will allow Kentucky farmers to compete internationally in major markets, explaining that many nations have already formed such partnerships which provide a relative advantage to their corn exporters. The 11 countries involved with the TPP represent some 40% of the world economy, and this deal would bring millions in economic activity – and thousands of jobs – to Kentucky. 

June 30, 2016: Export-Import Bank's lack of quorum puts 30 deals on hold (and other news from Washington today)
A single senator, Richard Shelby (R-AL), has left the fate of EXIM bank and some 30 deals - worth over $20 billion – up in the air, and threatens to disturb trade balance. Senator Shelby has blocked the Obama administration’s appointee to EXIM’s board of directors, Mark McWatters, from being confirmed by the Senate. Without McWatters’ appointment, EXIM’s board of directors lacks quorum, and cannot process transactions exceeding $10M. Those transactions lend capital for large corporations, such as Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Electric, to export goods and services globally. While EXIM bank’s support for US exporters has declined 50% over the last year, two credit agencies in China have reported distributions to Chinese exporters ten times higher than in the United States. The continued uncertainty
at EXIM bank thus threatens to further skew the balance of trade with China, and has moved beyond a political conflict to become a legitimate economic policy issue, with many republican senators urging Senator Shelby to release his hold on Watters’ confirmation hearing.

June 30, 2016: After ‘Brexit,’ Finding a New London for the Financial World to Call Home
If the United Kingdom doesn’t leave the European Union, the days for London to be the global financial capital by excellence, even ahead for New York, will be counted. The top nine of the cities are Barcelona- Spain, Milan, Warsaw, Luxembourg, Paris, Dublin, Vienna, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam, which is the one with most of the points.

June 30, 2016: Export-Import Bank's lack of Quorum puts 30 deals on hold (and other news from Washington today)
A single senator, Richard Shelby (R-AL), has left the fate of EXIM bank and some 30 deals - worth over $20 billion – up in the air, and threatens to disturb trade balance. Senator Shelby has blocked the Obama administration’s appointee to EXIM’s board of directors, Mark McWatters, from being confirmed by the Senate. Without McWatters’ appointment, EXIM’s board of directors lacks quorum, and cannot process transactions exceeding $10M. Those transactions lend capital for large corporations, such as Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Electric, to export goods and services globally. While EXIM bank’s support for US exporters has declined 50% over the last year, two credit agencies in China have reported distributions to Chinese exporters ten times higher than in the United States. The continued uncertainty
at EXIM bank thus threatens to further skew the balance of trade with China, and has moved beyond a political conflict to become a legitimate economic policy issue, with many republican senators urging Senator Shelby to release his hold on Watters’ confirmation hearing.

June 28, 2016:
Paytm, Alibaba Team To Make Cross-Border Affordable
The new program, reported on Monday (June 27), is aimed at helping at least 10,000 merchants by the end of 2016 and giving them access to products from China and other countries. Not only will cheaper rates for cross-border commerce be included, but merchants will also receive help with logistics and payments. Roughly 25 to 30 Indian merchants have already been selected to participate in the program, with a focus on scaling B2C commerce business and helping merchants to source effectively and receive improved margins.

June 27, 2016:
What the Brexit vote means to Louisville's Economy
Gus Faucher, Deputy Chief Economist for PNC Financial Services, explains that while he was initially surprised at the outcome of last week’s Brexit vote, there is little cause for concern in Louisville, which benefits from heavy consumer spending. Some export-reliant businesses, such as Brown-Forman Corp, have expressed disappointment with the outcome, while other manufacturers such as GE, which export machinery and electronics – in this case appliances – will be hardest hit by the stronger dollar, which surged 8% relative to the British pound after the UK’s vote. While banks will suffer to some degree from anticipated reductions in domestic interest rates, the resulting benefits to consumers should offset those losses, and many local economists believe that on the whole, the foreseeable impacts of Brexit on the Louisville economy are limited in scope and severity.

June 27, 2016:  
Brexit: U.K. Treasury Chief George Osborne Announces place to Slash Corporate Tax
Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne speaks at a news conference in Central London. Osborne announced last week a plan to cut the corporation tax to 17 percent by April of 2020. According to chancellor, “the United Kingdom must get on with this plan to prove to investors that the country is still open for business”.

June 27, 2016:
BREXIT: Wait and Watch Period - A Letter from the Desk of World Trade Center Kentucky President and CEO, Ed Webb
With the United Kingdoms (UK) vote to leave the European Union (EU), the Center is receiving numerous requests from clients and the press requesting its reaction and direction.When the news of the UK’s decision to exit was announced, the markets adverse reaction we could expect. However and very candidly, what we did not expect was a winning exit vote! The latter while considered possible did not appear to have the momentum early in the polls to carry an exit vote forward. Our predication was wrong and the UK citizens have spoken. While the complexity of the situation is being assessed, the Center encourages our members to embrace this wait and watch period. During this time, the Center is advising its clients to re-calibrate, look for opportunities and then move forward with business as usual. Last, the Center has reached out to its contact in the UK Trade and Investment office in Chicago. We will relay all pertinent updates and information to you as we receive it.

June 26, 2016:
Shaq brings Basketball Diplomacy to Cuba
With the support of the U.S. State Department, NBA legend Shaq advocates diplomacy between U.S. and Cuba with basketball clinic. Shaq’s arrival to Cuba signals a growing sentiment among Americans that believe normative relations between the two countries is a positive change. This comes just after six airlines were approved for direct flights between United States and Canada. 

June 21, 2016:
The Old Albany Hustle
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared on Sunday June 19, that he and state law makers had managed to finish “potentially the most successful session in modern history”, after a lackluster legislative season. The L.L.C. loophole are able to allow unlimited amounts behind many shell companies, which can contribute unlimited amount to campaigns. Surprisingly, Cuomo decided to give lip service to eliminate loophole with a bit of his political muscle. Sheldon Silver who was the former Assembly speaker, and the former two legislative leaders in political culture who have resulted in the Senate leader Dean Skelos are the convictions. Silver was sentenced to twelve years in prison for receiving kickbacks, honest services fraud and extortion. Skelos on the other hand, earned five years in prison for bribery, extortion and conspiracy. It is being seemed that Mr. Cuomo is willing to excuse the refusal of law makers to act, The Times the fact that closing the loophole would be tantamount to political suicide for the Republican Party. Since Albany’s lawmakers failed to put limits on their outside income, which Mr. Silver, ran afoul of the law, calling future convicted lawmakers to forfeit their pensions and it will require legislative approval before it is presented to the public.

June 20, 2016:
It’s 1995 Again for Dollar Traders Bracing for Trade War Trouble
As international trade continues to dominate political discussions worldwide, mounting pressure to restrict trade policy have led to fears that an inevitable trade war will devalue the US Dollar and could destabilize the US economy. Among those concerns are comments by presidential candidate Donald Trump, suggesting he would use tariffs and monetary policy to discourage growth of Chinese imports, as well as the Brexit vote in the UK, which would seriously undermine one of the world’s largest free trade zones and have widespread economic impacts throughout Europe and the world. The US undertook a similar strategy in 1995, focused primarily on restricting trade with Japan to aid US producers, in an effort that ultimately devalued the Dollar relative to the Yuen, and provided no tangible benefit to the US economy.

June 20, 2016:
The Panama Canal Expands
After 9 years and $5.4 billion USD spent on expansion efforts, the Panama Canal is set to open a third shipping lane, capable of handling longer, heavier container ships which are rapidly becoming the norm worldwide. The canal is a manmade waterway 48 miles long, and of great strategic significance to the shipping industry; expansions along the canal reflect a global race to update existing infrastructure to accommodate New Panamax and ULCV ships. Despite the current downturn in international shipping, projections continue to reflect an increase in both tonnage and value of goods shipped over time, and the ability to service vehicles carrying in excess of 14,500 standard containers will avoid the worsening bottleneck at the canal, and ultimately yield cost savings and lower prices industry wide.

June 19, 2016: Kentucky’s first-quarter 2016 Exports Surge
With $7 billion of exports in the first quarter of 2016, Kentucky is top-10 for growth in exports (of both goods and services). This figure is a 1.2% improvement year-to-year ($6.98B in first quarter 2016 vs $6.89B January-March of last year), during the same time that US exports have seen a pronounced 6.9% overall decline. The aerospace, automotive, and pharma industries are among Kentucky’s leading exports, and have led to a global reputation for high-quality manufacturing. Of those exports, $1.7B in goods and services were sold to Canada, with France, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Brazil rounding out the top 5 importers of Kentucky products, although some 170 countries receive goods and services from Kentucky in any given year.

June 15, 2016: Boeing as Reportedly Agreed to a Historic Multibillion-dollar Deal with Iran
In a deal exceeding $8 billion, Iran has agreed to purchase over 100 jet airliners from the aerospace giant Boeing. This comes in the same year that Iran purchased 188 Airbus airliners for $25 billion, in an effort to update its aging commercial fleet. Iran, which has been under heavy sanctions for several decades, has not been able to expand domestic service or improve the Iran Air fleet of some 50 aircraft, with an average age of 27 years. The contract, pending final approval by the US government, would involve Boeing as well as third-party leasing agents. 

June 14, 2016 :
Wal-Mart Replaces Asda head amid UK Grocery War
The Asda’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Clarke, decided that it is the right time to step aside from his duty with the organization. After 20 years of services, Clark has been a key contributor to Walmart’s success specifically in the U.K., which is one of the world’s most competitive retail markets. According to David Cheesewright, managing business portfolio is a key element of Walmart’s international strategy. As a result, the organization posted strong financing sales performance at its Q1 FY17 earnings update.

June 14, 2016: 
Smithsonian to Open London Exhibition Space With Victoria and Albert Museum
The Smithsonian Institution announced that it will have a permanent location outside of the United States for the first time in its history. The new location will be located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. The partnership blossomed after the both parties expressed interested in Olympicopolis. Both organizations believe that if their shared interested can be displayed through advances in technology, then they can attract new customers to museums.

June 13, 2016:
The Consequences: How Trade Became A Major Issue In 2016
In a discussion moderated by David Firestone, several noted economists, including Dr. Shushanik Hakobyan, a US trade policy scholar, discuss the rise of international trade as a political issue in the 2016 election. The group examines the role of displaced American workers in fueling the Trump campaigns’calls for more restrictive trade policy. While the effects of international trade are largely positive, the job losses that do occur are heavily concentrated in certain sectors, and for workers in those industries, the issue has become central to the larger argument over the direction of the US and world economy. The commentators also point out that the largest effect of liberalized trade with China has been a decrease in the price of goods, which is of greatest benefit to the poorest Americans.

June 10, 2016: Airlines Race to get Ready for Resumption of Flights to Cuba
Earlier this month, Obama approved six American airlines to begin direct flights to nine cities in Cuba. Airlines granted this permission to fly between U.S. and Cuba are tackling new challenges regarding the renewal. One airline, American Airlines, expressed concern over collecting baggage fees in Cuba because most U.S. issued credit cards will not work there. Typically, airlines have time to figure out such glitches but they must send flights within 90 days of being granted permission. Therefore, the airlines are scrambling to finalize plans to make that happen. Most issues seem to be arising when direct flights are leaving Cuba for the U.S. This is due to varying standards, size, and technology of the terminals located in Cuba.

June 10, 2016:
 U.S. Approves 6 Airlines for Direct Flights to Cuba
President Obama and his administration allowed for direct flights to Cuba to begin. These flights will go to over 9 cities in Cuba. The renewal of friendly relations between the two countries comes with mixed reactions. Some believe the tourism industry will begin to grow as the ease of transportation increases. However, others believe that allowing for easy access through these flights sends a supportive message to Cuba’s governmental regime.

June 9, 2016:
Revenge of the Dreamliner: How Boeing's 787 is changing travel
After safety concerns left Boeing’s $200 million-per-plane 787 Dreamliner on the brink, many feared the project would be a total failure, but now, 3 years later, Boeing seems poised for total victory. The gigantic plane, which boats a 197-foot wingspan and can carry up to 335 passengers over 8,000 miles, is quickly disrupting air travel; over 100 cities have seen direct flights introduced which were never before feasible (or economical), including a new non-stop route from San Francisco to Singapore. Many operators are now struggling to secure new aircraft fast enough to keep pace with their competitors, and the map of world aviation is literally being redrawn, with some 400 new direct flight routes to be established. The 787, which is 20% more fuel efficient than the 767, is manufactured at Boeing’s Everett, Washington facility, and some 285 units are already in service with over 3 dozen carriers worldwide. 

June 08, 2016: 
Brazil Container Terminals Finalizing SOLAS Pricing
Brazil container terminals finalizing SOLAS pricing. The container terminal of Brazil has already set the prices and they explained how the prices are going. They mentioned that this is going to help the shipper with an international container weight rule. The Brazil’s directorate of Ports and Coats are the responsible of enforcing the verified gross mass amendment of the SOLAS. This rule is going to take everyone to be charged for the transmission of VGM data to containers lines. The prices being discussed would be among some of the cheapest in the world as far as terminal-generated weighing services are concerned, even than Canada and the United States prices. 

June 07, 2016: 
Panama Canal Authority Reviewing Completed New Locks
Panama Canal Authority reviewing completed new locks. After waiting for two more years, finally the opening of the Panama Canal third set of locks is going to be on June 26. It was supposed to be done two years ago, but some obstacles did not let the project be finished on time. The authority is evaluating if everything is well done and if there are not any future problems before they do the opening. This expansion will allow the canal to handle ships of up to 14,000 twenty-foot-equivalents, three times as big as today.

June 6, 2016 : 
China Pushes Back Against US Complaints of Industrial Overcapacity
BEIJING _ Lou Jiwei, the Chinese finance minister made a complaint to his United States counterpart concerning China’s glut of factories making mountains of steel, aluminum and other products which were devastating to the markets and makers. Jacob J. Lew, the U.S. Treasury Secretary grumbled that China’s huge surpluses were being sold at low prices on international markets, which were misleading the global economy. Lou, however told the New York Time there was nothing wrong with the U.S. Treasure Secretary raising the excess capacity problem in the talks. Lew emphasized those worries at a university in Beijing on Sunday. The European Union also launched its probe into conceivable dumping; according to the yuan, Beijing agreed for the first time to allow USA banks to join the growing number of institutions outside China that are allowed to clear transactions denominated in the country’s snugly controlled currency. 

June 6, 2016:
 JP Morgan Chief Warns Brexit is 'Terrible Deal for the British Economy'
JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon issued a scathing critique of the potential British exit from the EU (Brexit) while speaking on the subject last week along with UK Chancellor George Osborne. He called the effort a terrible deal for the British economy, and warned that, at a minimum, a Brexit will result in years of uncertainty, and I believe that this uncertainty will hurt the economies of both Britain and the EU." This apparently reflects the sentiments of other major banks, with Morgan Stanley, Citi and Goldman Sachs (as well as JP Morgan) all having donated to the campaign for remaining in the EU. Dimon suggested that if Brexit occurs, JP Morgan may relocate many of its 16,000 UK employees to the EU.

June 6, 2016:
Janet Yellen Warns of Brexit Hit to US economy
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke Monday about potential repercussions of the June 23rd vote in the UK on Brexit, or “British exit”, from the EU. While speaking of positive trends in the US economy offsetting relatively weak recent jobs numbers - and leaving open the possibility of long-awaited Fed rate hikes this summer - Yellen cautioned that Brexit could cause a "significant adverse reaction" in US markets. Lael Brainard, a member of the Fed Board of Governors, explained that "because international financial markets are tightly linked, an adverse reaction in European financial markets could affect US financial markets”. Unfortunately, those effects are widely predicted in both EU and UK markets if Brexit is approved.

June 3, 2016: 
Vilsack Gives Cuban Minister Taste of Iowa ag
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Cuban Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero met in Iowa to discuss trade relations between the two countries if the embargo is ever listed. This is yet another instance where the U.S. is expressing interest in normalizing relations with Cuba. The two representatives expressed the importance of agricultural trade on an international level and its ability to open avenues for other industries such as technology and research. The two representatives also stressed the importance of lifting the embargo for the improvement of future relations. They believe that the current legislation is limiting the success that the two countries could share.

27 May 2016:
Imperial academic Explains why China is Surging ahead with Innovation
Thanks to a growing number of scientists and engineers and the government’s drive for innovation, China is now entering a new phase of economic prosperity. Professor George Yip, Associate Dean for Executive Programmes at Imperial Business School speaks on the subject, and how Chinese professionals are obtaining education in the West and returning home with creative solutions. (Audio

May 18, 2016:
World Trade Center Kentucky Congratulates International Trade Certification Class
The World Trade Center Kentucky is proud to announce the Spring 2016 graduates of its International Trade Certification Program.

May 10, 2016:
Jason Hilts on the SelectUSA plant selecting Brownsville, Texas for its new manufacturing plant; I love this (SATA) project because this is really going to grab the people of Brownsville. It is going to dig deep into the community and create more opportunities for people. This is what it is all about. And, explaining his high regard for manufacturing, Hilts said: I am a Detroit guy. I grew up in Detroit around manufacturing. You drive around downtown Detroit and along the Detroit River and you see smokestacks, you see steel companies, you see smoke. Some people say that is pollution. I saw that as opportunity, I saw people working, alright? Hilts then explained that SATA USA’s arrival in Brownsville is just the first piece of larger heavy manufacturing jigsaw
April 24, 2016:
Barack Obama goes to Hanover: How they made it happen
The world's largest industrial technology trade fair is hosting the United States as its partner country. And President Barack Obama has even made a personal appearance in Hanover. So how did organizers make that happen?

April 20, 2016: Jonathan Blue is prying open the trade doors with Cuba, one singer, dancer or actor at a time
Louisville entrepreneur Jonathan Blue has become one of the first U.S. company owners to sign a business deal with a Cuban company since the two countries’ presidents, Barack Obama and Raúl Castro, agreed to normalize trade relations.

April 18, 2016: Union Files Suit to Seek Higher Tariff on US Imports of Aluminum
An American labor union is pushing the United States to impose broad, steep tariffs on aluminum imports using a little-used but wide-ranging trade law that has riled the country’s trading partners in the past.

April 11, 2016: Pork Shortage in China Reshapes Global Demand
Too few pigs are headed to markets in pork-loving China, leading to soaring domestic prices and a rush of pork imports from the U.S. and elsewhere to fill the gap.

April 8, 2016: Censorship Labeled Barrier to Trade
The United States has labeled China's internet censorship a trade barrier in a report for the first time since 2013, saying worsening online restrictions are damaging the business of U.S. companies.

April 7, 2016: Kentucky Sees Promise in Trade with Cuba
Businesses across the Commonwealth have seen the promise and potential in Cuba. As relations continue to develop, this article looks at the early efforts being made to make inroads in the nation.

March 31, 2016: Report Slams China on industrial Overcapacity
The United States on Thursday criticized China's government support of heavy industries including steel and aluminum in a new report on foreign trade barriers, saying the resulting overproduction has distorted markets and cost U.S. jobs.

March 29, 2016: Federal Trade Commission to Sue Volkswagen
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday accused Volkswagen Group of deceiving American consumers into buying emission-spewing diesel vehicles, seeking more than $15 billion in damages in what could be one of the largest false-advertising cases in U.S. history.

March 22, 2016: How Brussels Attack Could Impact Global Market
The attacks in the Belgian capital on Tuesday are unlikely to have a long-term impact on markets, but they could result in new roadblocks to cross-border commerce and lend momentum to Euro sceptics, analysts told CNBC.

March 21, 2016: US Offers Temporary Relief for ZTE Export Curbs
The U.S. government plans to temporarily lift export curbs it imposed on Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker ZTE Corp (0763.HK) for alleged Iran sanctions violations, a senior Department of Commerce official said.

March 18, 2016: How Obama's Cuba Visit Could Impact AG Trade
President Barack Obama's historic trip to Cuba on Sunday could be a game changer for U.S. agribusiness to recapture lost market share.

March 14, 2016: Learning More About Kentucky's Top Export
Aerospace products – not bourbon or horses – were Kentucky’s leading export by far in 2015, generating more than $8.7 billion, a 12 percent increase over the $7.8 billion generated the previous year.

March 9, 2016: Increased Threshold for Low Value Shipments
Effective March 10, 2016 there will be no taxes or duties on imports of 800 USD or less. This is a raise from the original 200 USD.

March 7, 2016: Food Imports Down
The world’s food bill just fell $9 billion from a previous estimate as a glut of oil and ships cut transportation costs, adding to an oversupply of everything from grains to sugar, according to the United Nations.

March 2, 2016: US to Impose 266% Tariff on Chinese Steel
The U.S. government hiked tariffs on Chinese cold-rolled steel products by 266 percent Tuesday, along with lesser duties on six other countries for selling the metal in the U.S. at unfairly low prices, also known as dumping.

March 1, 2016: Kentucky Exports on the Rise Despite National Decline
Kentucky had a slight increase in exports to countries around the world in 2015, compared to the previous year. The Bluegrass State stands out nationally because even though exports increased by less than one percent, most states decreased their exports last year.

February 26, 2016: Top Negotiators Aim to Sign T-TIP This Year
Negotiators on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) claimed on Friday (26 February) that they were making progress towards reaching an accord by the end of the year as they completed the latest round of talks.

February 25, 2016: World Leaders Meet to Discuss Uncertain Economic Future
Finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s biggest industrialized and developing economies now arriving in Shanghai face their toughest task since the worst days of the global financial crisis.

February 14, 2016: Chinese Trade Data Shows Steep Decline
China's exports fell 11.2 percent on-year in January, while imports declined 18.8 percent, clocking far bigger slides than expected by analysts.

February 11, 2016: Senate Approves Critical Trade Enforcement Legislation
The Senate gave overwhelming final approval Thursday to the most comprehensive overhaul of customs law in decades, giving presidents new tools to combat unfair trade, yet falling short of bipartisan demands for penalties against other nations that manipulate their currencies.

February 2, 2016: US Releases More Relaxed Travel Guidelines for Cuba
On January 26, 2016, the United

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