Detroit spending millions to renovate riverfront port
Let’s play a game. Which one doesn’t belong: Miami, St. Thomas, Puerto Vallarta, Detroit.
The first three are popular ports of call for cruise lines, and while Detroit’s harsh winter weather won’t attract tourists, the city is hoping the summer months will bring visitors to the Great Lakes.
That’s why Detroit is spending $21.5 million on developing its renovated riverfront, which will make its debut next month. The port’s revitalization is hoping to attract Great Lakes cruise ships and starting a Detroit-Windsor ferry that will hopefully usher in a new era of waterfront tourism.
Cleveland, like Detroit, is implementing a similar measure to maximize its waterfronts, but some critics doubt that Detroit’s spending will match its increase in revenue from the waterfront renovations.
“On net balance, these kinds of investments are a little more than expensive ribbon-cutting ceremonies,” economic guru Michael LaFaive told the Detroit Free Press. “If this was a valuable addition to Detroit’s waterfront, entrepreneurs would fall over themselves to fund it.”
Detroit port authority economic development director John Kerr refuted those claims to the Detroit Free Press, saying that a bustling Detroit riverfront is “not as far-fetched as people might imagine,” and that “Port communities across Michigan are looking at what we’re doing.”
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As the city of Detroit continues to look for ways to bring in money following the decline in the automobile industry, opening one of the largest cities in the Great Lakes region to tourism seems like a smart idea, but it will take a fair amount of time for Detroit to see some return on investment.
The summertime opening of Detroit’s renovated port couldn’t be better, but there is plenty of cause for concern in the wintertime, where the average high temperature sits in the 30s for the months of December, January and February.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”