Tuesday, May 9, 2000
Gorton is making good on a pledge made immediately after the Intertanko case decision when he said he would "explore every avenue in the Senate to see that Washington's tough environmental and safety standards are permitted by federal law."
Metcalf said his bill would amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. It would clarify Congress' ability to permit states to adopt additional standards regarding maintenance, operation, equipping, personnel qualifications, or manning of vessels that cross into state waters.
"We need to do everything we can to preserve the national treasure that we know as the Puget Sound," Metcalf stated. "Federal regulations alone do not provide enough protection for the unique conditions and circumstances of our region."
European Commission keeps
up pressure on
The report also outlines the strenuous
efforts made by the Commission to convince the South Korean Government
to play its part in creating fair and competitive world market
conditions. In particular, after several rounds of consultations,
the European Commission and the Korean Government finalized
talks on April 10, 2000 and initialled "Agreed Minutes relating
to the World Shipbuilding Market" . These Agreed Minutes
focus on non-subsidisation, banking, financial transparency (with
regard to international accounting standards), commercial pricing
practices and an effective consultative mechanism. The report
is due to be considered by the Council
Under Council Regulation 1540/98 establishing new rules on aid to shipbuilding the Commission is required to report on the situation of the world shipbuilding market. The first report (COM (1999) 474 final) was adopted by the Commission in October 1999 and was the subject of Conclusions by the Council in November, which invited the Commission to continue its examination of the situation. This is the second such report.
According to the report, the world market for merchant ships continues to be in crisis. Supply clearly outstrips demand and there are only a few indications that this situation may improve. Consequently the comparatively stronger demand for ships in the period 1998 to 1999 has had no positive impact on prices. On the contrary, prices for nearly all ship types have continued to decline.
At current price levels EU and Japanese market shares continue to shrink, although this effect is less pronounced for the EU. With the exception of cruise vessels, all market segments are targeted by Korean yards, leaving only small domestic orders and highly specialized tonnage to EU yards.
The Commission is continuing to monitor the market says it is pursuimg "all lines of action" to address the problem. In particular, the Commission says it has made "strenuous efforts" to secure binding commitments from the Korean Government regarding non-intervention in the financing of shipbuilding activities.
In its report the Commission states its intention to closely follow-up the consultation process set out in the "Agreed Minutes".
In parallel, the European shipbuilding industry has compiled evidence that could lead to a complaint under the EU Trade Barriers Regulation. The industry has announced its readiness to file such a complaint should the Korean Government fail to implement the Agreed Minutes satisfactorily.
The European Commission report recommends: