Trade Policy

Trade Policy

News and analysis of trade policy such as free trade agreements and changes to tariff regimes around the world. 

Commentary

Importers of record must be alert to how products are being classified, particularly when working with overseas exporters who may be willfully or unwillfully trying to skirt the system by declaring goods with the wrong country of origin or an incorrect HTS code. The stakes are far too high to leave this unaddressed

News & Analysis

Dover Straits, United Kingdom.
12 Dec 2018
The latest deal reached between Britain’s Theresa May government and the European Union has failed to win any political support, and Brexit contingency planning suggests the private sector is assuming all trade with the EU will be on World Trade Organization terms, regarded as a worst-case scenario.
Two ships at the Port of Los Angeles.
30 Nov 2018
Following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on Saturday at the G20 summit, President Trump agreed to a 90-day truce in which the US wouldn’t impose higher tariffs on Jan 1. as threatened.
Krishnapatnam Port.
29 Oct 2018
At the most recent talk in New Delhi, India Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna and Bangladesh counterpart Abdus Samad agreed to increase ports of call, on each side, under the bilateral inland water transit and trade pact.
Steel on rolls.
23 Oct 2018
Despite a healthy economy and a trade policy-driven import spike at some US ports, US steel cargoes declined overall at many of the major US ports during the first half.
Containers in Shanghai, China.
22 Oct 2018
The Trump administration itself is split on the effectiveness of the tariffs, and, unlike Congress, the president “cares less about data,” so businesses should go directly to Congress with their concerns, the trade executive said.
Port of Oakland.
18 Oct 2018
"I’m not optimistic we are going to see a grand bargain with all the tariffs coming off,” Lance Noble, senior analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, said at the TPM Asia Conference on Oct. 10.
Breakbulk Americas, Oct. 2018.
16 Oct 2018
China and Russia are changing global trade rules and the global order in ways "detrimental to US security," a Trump administration document claims.
Chittagong Port
15 Oct 2018
Bangladesh Shipping Secretary Abdus Samad told JOC.com the decision was made with the interests of Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Mongla ports in mind.
Soybean silos in Kansas, United States.
10 Oct 2018
“The short term is bad, but it’s actually the long term that’s more of a concern,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. Brazil and Argentina have emerged as serious challengers to the once-dominant US position as the world’s top supplier of soybeans.
The Port of Los Angeles.
20 Sep 2018
Already chaotic and upended, the Trump administration’s proposed Jan. 1, 2019, 25 percent tariff on imports from China is causing importers to scramble for ocean, truck, and rail capacity — with the next ramification being the warehouse variable: will there be any space after the front-loading of imports?
Chassis stack in the United States.
19 Sep 2018
The decision means the price of a chassis in the United States will likely rise by a substantial amount.
Dover port, United Kingdom.
19 Sep 2018
“Unfortunately, a no-deal scenario is still quite possible,” according to European Council President Donald Tusk. “But if we act responsibly, we can avoid a catastrophe.”
A steel mill.
07 Sep 2018
To say that the Trump administration’s steel tariffs and quotas have upset the global steel market would be an understatement, as nations who have hit their quotas are scrambling for new markets, and US importers are searching for new sources of affordably priced steel.
US Customs House, New York, NY.
13 Aug 2018
Importers may be unaware that they need to increase the level of the bond they must maintain with US Customs and Border Protection for duties due to be paid over a 12-month period.
Home construction in Texas, United States.
11 Aug 2018
Backers of tariffs always promise positive results for the domestic economy. But tariffs were tried by the United States and many other nations in the early stages of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Now how did that work out?
Intermdoal rail.
08 Aug 2018
Containers were one of only five items among the original 284 items granted a reprieve by the US working group consisting of nearly a dozen federal agencies.
Plastic waste for recycling.
02 Aug 2018
As of now, scrap/agriculture exporters and ocean carriers are in two parallel universes concerning whether space exists on ships heading to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
Port of New York and New Jersey container ship.
27 Jul 2018
Although trade tensions between the United States and the European Union and their impact have been muted so far in 2018, trade stakeholders know that could change dramatically and quickly.
Intermodal containers on a train in the US.
25 Jul 2018
Tariffs on containers are unwarranted and will needlessly raise costs throughout the supply chain, business leaders testifying on Capitol Hill agreed.
A container ship at sea.
24 Jul 2018
Despite strong demand, the Hong Kong-based firm said Friday that increases in material costs, particularly corten steel, accounted for a marginal interim net loss for the first half of 2018, compared with a $16.6 million profit for the same period in 2017.
The Port of Los Angeles.
12 Jul 2018
Although the impact would be significant elsewhere, one port complex in the United States has the most to lose — and in a big way — by a protracted, major trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Antwerp port.
12 Jul 2018
After a mixed performance in 2017, Europe’s top breakbulk ports face a complicated 2018, despite above-trend European GDP growth, due to the threat posed by tariffs and the reinstatement of sanctions against Iran.
A container ship at sea.
09 Jul 2018
Ocean carriers want to avoid being caught up in secondary sanctions that will be imposed by the United States on companies dealing with Iran.
John Wiehoff.
28 Jun 2018
Supply chain experts at the SM3 Connections 2018 conference are taking a focus-on-what-one-can control stance, while also counting on more-constructive policies in the years ahead that are likely to support the decades-long globalization trend.
A soybean farm in Kansas, United States.
25 Jun 2018
The immediate impact of lost export opportunities because of retaliation by US trading partners to the Trump administration’s tariffs is a major, negative development for US businesses. Even so, the longer-term damage from the erosion of the US’s reputation as a reliable supplier of agricultural products should really concern beneficial cargo owners, ag exporters have been told.
Port of Felixstowe.
25 Jun 2018
The UK logistics sector is becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of post-Brexit trade system progress. While other EU states are recruiting extra customs officials at their leading ports, including Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Calais, the British government has yet to unveil its spending plans to ease post-Brexit traffic through the country’s key shipping hubs.
A soybean farm in Brazil.
22 Jun 2018
Brazil has displaced the United States as the top soy exporter, and it won’t be long before it moves ahead of the United States as the world’s leading corn exporter.
A potato field in Idaho, United States.
22 Jun 2018
Two can play at the tariff game, as trade analysts warned, and US agriculture exporters will be hurt disproportionately by US trading partners’ initial retaliatory tariffs.
20 Jun 2018
Shippers, carriers, and other participants in the supply chain are closely watching the US/China tariff volleys, but they say the effect on the market so far has been minimal, although that could change.
Container ship near the Port of Newcastle, Australia.
15 Jun 2018
China Merchants’ purchase of a stake in the Port of Newcastle, Australia’s largest east coast port, would be its first in Oceania. However, the dealoccurs at a time of increased political and trade tension between the strong-performing Asian economies.
Port of Oakland.
14 Jun 2018
With manufacturing sectors in both nations in a strong uptrend, and China’s middle class expanding while US consumer spending is recovering after a long hiatus, only a full-bore trade war could deflect accelerating container trade between the two economic giants.
Port of Shanghai Yangshan deepwater port.
31 May 2018
Starting Friday, China Customs will require manifest submissions 24 hours prior to loading, or risk missing the intended sailing. One supply chain director called the order nothing new, but another called it a non-tariff barrier deployed mainly against the United States, but also Europe.
Apples being prepared for shipment.
21 May 2018
The European Union and India announced their retaliation for US tariffs on steel and aluminum as the Trump Administration sent contradictory signals regarding its stance on tariffs and China.
Port of Los Angeles.
08 May 2018
Cost pressures and consumer preferences can change vehicle demand in a hurry. However, there’s another variable that can change it — and harm it — even faster.
Steel loaded onto a truck from a ship.
10 Apr 2018
Breakbulk carriers and shippers hope the threatened US steel tariffs are merely a negotiating tactic, but if they prove to be more than that an incipient US-China trade war would occur just as the industry appears to be on the verge of a recovery from a long slump.