For months, trade war tensions with China have been on the rise. The Chinese government said Friday morning it would implement a $75 billion retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods — a response to President Trump’s $300 billion tariff on Chinese goods.After the announcement, Trump said he would raise tariffs on Chinese goods by as much as 30 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.As the back and forth unfolds, watch the video above to see how the multibillion-dollar trade war has hit New York real estate so far.Voice-over by Lucas McGill This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now
USA: Congress must act to extend the ‘unattainable’ December 31 2015 deadline for the roll-out of Positive Train Control, rail industry associations reiterated in response to the release on September 16 of a Government Accountability Office report which says the Federal Railroad Administration needs to develop an adequate and comprehensive plan for overseeing progress with installation.The GAO interviewed a representative sample of 29 railways, including the four biggest. Five expect to complete PTC installation by the deadline, 20 expect completion within five years, and three have no estimated date; one is exempt owing to limited speeds. Problems include development complexity, supply industry and regulatory review capacity, funding and lack of access to the required radio spectrum. Concerns were expressed about interoperability, with one railway required to determine which of 260 other operators using its tracks would require PTC. Association of American Railroads President & CEO Edward R Hamberger said ‘freight rail operators have always contended that the Congressionally-mandated 2015 deadline for having PTC fully functional and being used coast-to-coast by passenger and freight rail alike was not realistic.’ Hamberger said the rail industry believes ‘PTC is an extremely complex technology that requires more time to install and safely test’. The ‘arbitrary’ deadline set by Congress had not reflected the ‘unprecedented challenges’ required to deploy it on 96 000 route-km which carry passengers or certain hazardous materials. AAR expects just 14% of this total to be covered by the deadline, with 31% of locomotives equipped, 69% of wayside units and 63% of base station radios installed and 33% of 114 515 employees trained. ‘Railroads are beginning to notify their customers of the possibility of an impending rail shutdown’ in ‘a worst-case scenario’, Hamberger warned. ‘Congress can’t wait until November or December when the clock is about to run out. If lawmakers want to avert a massive disruption of passenger and freight transport this fall, which will inflict significant hardships on businesses and passengers alike, it must take action now to extend the deadline.’ Michael Melaniphy, President & CEO of the American Public Transportation Association which represents passenger operators, said the commuter rail industry has spent $950m on PTC, and conservative estimates say $3·48bn will be required to complete the roll-out. However Congress has only appropriated $50m. APTA also called on Congress to make the required radio spectrum available to operators. ‘The time is now for Congress to act to extend the PTC deadline’, said Melaniphy. ‘This action is crucial to avoid the disruption of millions of Americans who rely daily on commuter rail service as they commute to and from work.’ Read more about the status of PTC implementation in the September issue of Railway Gazette International.
POLAND: The allocation of €676m from the Cohesion Fund for rail and road projects in Poland was announced by the European Commission on September 13.The package includes €487m for the replacement of outdated communications with GSM-R on almost 14 000 km of railway by July 2023, supporting a transition to ERTMS. The Commission said this would remove the need to switch locomotives or onboard equipment at borders.The Commission will also provide €117m to support the reopening of the 46 km Tarnowskie Góry – Zawiercie line to serve Katowice airport. This project includes electrification, bridge works and station construction and refurbishment including accessibility improvements.Completion of the work by May 2022 is expected to boost local economic development by improving the efficiency of freight transport and providing reliable passenger services.The remaining €72m is for road infrastructure projects.