ISLAMABAD: As part of the U.S. Government’s efforts to strengthen Pakistan’s agricultural sector, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been working with the Pakistani government and private sector since 2009 to expand the market of Pakistani mangoes globally.
Stakeholders organized the Mango Gala in order to celebrate this long-term partnership and its many achievements. USAID/Pakistan Mission Director Jerry Bisson, Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Ghazanfar Bilour, and Mango growers from all over the country attended the Gala.
Addressing the mango sector stakeholders, Mission Director Jerry Bisson said, “The U.S. Government, through USAID, is proud to partner with the Pakistan mango sector in developing new markets, while ensuring compliance with international grading standards and export protocols,” Stating that, “We want to ensure that Pakistani mangoes are competitive on the international market.
“We are confident that by facilitating infrastructure upgrades, introducing new technologies and promoting market opportunities we will increase exports to high-end markets, improving revenues for Pakistani mango farmers and exporters,” Jerry Bisson added.
The event brought together stakeholders from the public and private sectors to investigate trends and opportunities, recognize local farmers’ innovations in, and reaffirm USAID’s commitment towards uplifting Pakistan’s mango sector.
USAID launched the U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development in February 2015 to improve the marketing capacity of four Pakistani value chains; meat, high value and off-season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus.
Since 2009, USAID has supported mango farmers in upgrading fruit processing technologies and addressing export protocols more efficiently. Under the project’s grant program, USAID has provided 13 state-of-the-art mango graders. These graders became operational in 2017 and will be utilized during the 2018 production season to grade export quality mangoes.
This partnership has served as a catalyst to improve the quality, increase the quantity of agricultural produce, and promote cooperation among farmers, processors, exporters, and buyers of Pakistani agricultural products, resulting in both increased incomes and employment opportunities.
Canada imports of cheap steel diverted from US by tariffs surges
OTTAWA: Canada’s finance minister warned Tuesday that US tariffs on steel have led to a spike in imports of cheap foreign steel that threaten the local industry.
“We’ve seen increases in imports,” Minister Bill Morneau told reporters.
“We’re concerned with, as a matter of fact of tariffs that have been imposed in the United States, that there will be producers in other parts of the world that will divert their steel to Canada, causing harm to Canadian producers,” he said.
Morneau said he would consult with industry executives over the coming weeks before deciding on measures to block the surge in cheap steel imports.
He noted that any action would target specific products, and not countries, listing a few of them: steel plates, concrete reinforcing bars, steel tubular products, hot rolled sheets, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wires, and wire rods.
“We want to make sure that we keep the market stable, that we deal with import surges in a way that doesn’t harm Canadian producers and workers,” Morneau said.
The United States in June unveiled 25 percent tariffs on steel products and 10 percent on aluminum. Ottawa hit back with retaliatory tariffs on 1st July.
Tokyo’s Nikkei index jumps more than 2.2%
TOKYO: Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei index surged more than 2.2 percent Tuesday, swiftly recovering from the previous day’s losses, with investors encouraged by an apparent hiatus in the Turkey lira crisis.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which lost more than two percent on Monday, rose 2.28 percent or 498.65 points to close at 22,356.08, snapping a four-day losing streak. The broader Topix index was up 1.63 percent or 27.45 points at 1,710.95.
Trump endorses call for Harley-Davidson boycott
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump endorsed calls today for a boycott of tariff-hit Harley-Davidson over its plans to move production of its iconic American motorcycles out of the country.
“Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great!” Trump tweeted.
“Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move!”
Trump has taken it personally since Wisconsin-based manufacturer — once a presidential favorite — announced on Monday it is moving some production out of the US.
Harley-Davidson was targeted with EU tariffs after Trump imposed stiff duties on European steel and aluminum.
An array of US companies have complained they are being hurt by the administration’s tariff policies.
But Trump has treated the issue as a loyalty test.
“I’ve done so much for you, and then this,” Trump tweeted earlier this week. “Other companies are coming back where they belong! We won’t forget, and neither will your customers or your now very HAPPY competitors!”
Last year, Harley-Davidson announced it would build a plant in Thailand after Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which would have abolished tariffs on their motorcycles across 40 percent of the world’s economy.
The company has repeatedly described the Thailand factory, along with other overseas production, as vital to its long-term need to boost foreign markets to make up for sluggish sales in the US.
In January, Harley-Davidson announced it would close its Kansas City, Missouri assembly plant and consolidate jobs in York, Pennsylvania.
“A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never!” Trump said earlier on Twitter.