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FTC Proposes Updates To Made In The USA Labels

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a proposed rule on July 16, 2020 that would update criteria for claiming a product is Made in the USA, as well as broaden the agency’s enforcement authority.

Under the FTC’s proposed rule, labels cannot contain unqualified Made in the USA claims unless:

  • Final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the United States;
  • All significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States; and
  • All or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States.

In addition, various sources have noted that the proposed rule would allow the FTC to pursue civil penalties of $43,280 for each violation.

Comments on the proposed rule must be received by September 14, 2020.

Source: Lexology.com

CBP Receives $15 Million To Migrate ACS From Mainframe To The Cloud

The General Services Administration (GSA) awarded $15 million to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to migrate the Automated Commercial System (ACS) from a mainframe to a cloud-based information system.

“We are excited to support CBP with TMF (Technology Modernization Fund) funding as they begin to work on this important project that will modernize legacy technology to bolster lawful international trade,” said Allison Brigati, deputy administrator of the GSA.

Source: WashingtonExec.com

CBSA Publishes Trade Compliance Verification Priorities

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has published its semi-annual list of trade compliance verification priorities here.

CBSA manages trade compliance with the Tariff Classification, Valuation, and Origin programs using the following two post-release verification processes:

  1. Random verifications; and
  2. Verification priorities

CBSA provides that random verifications are designed to measure compliance rates and revenue loss and the results may be used for many purposes, including risk assessment, Revenue assessment, and Promoting voluntary compliance, while targeted verification priorities are determined through a risk-based, evergreen process, which means that new targets are added throughout the year. Verification priorities may also be carried over from previous years.

The CBSA publishes its trade compliance verification priorities in January and July.

Source: CBSA-ASFC.gc.ca

Trump Administration To Incentivize Nearshoring For US Firms

The Trump administration is planning to use financial incentives to motivate U.S. firms to divest from Asia and move production to the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Mauricio Claver-Carone, a senior White House advisor.

Work on the initiative has been underway prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, but the outbreak clearly demonstrated the advantages of having suppliers based closer to the United States than in Asia, according to a Reuters report.

“We’re essentially creating a ‘Back to the Americas’ initiative,” explained Claver-Carone.

Source: Reuters.com

US, Kenya Launch Free Trade Talks

In early July, the U.S. and Kenya began negotiations toward a free trade agreement “than can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa,” noted U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a joint statement with Kenyan Trade Secretary Betty Maina.  The two countries more recently held additional virtual negotiations at the beginning of August.

Sources report that President Trump prefers bilateral agreements over multinational pacts, such as the African Growth Opportunity Act, which allows approximately 6,500 products from 39 nations preferential access to the U.S. and expires in 2025.

However, a U.S.-Kenya bilateral agreement could make it more difficult for Africa to secure support for a continent-wide bloc and diminish its ability to negotiate with the U.S., warned the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi, earlier this year.

Source: Bloomberg.com

US Trade Gap Narrows In June On Strong Exports

The U.S. goods and services trade deficit narrowed in June to $50.7 billion from $54.8 billion in May after exports surged a whopping 9.4 percent led by cars and car parts.

Not surprisingly, total U.S. trade in June was down significantly (-21.9 percent) compared to June 2019 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

However, both imports and exports rallied from May to June, “and we expect a continued recovery over the coming months as production catches up with the recovery in consumption,” said Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

Source: APNews.com

US Ports Appeal To Federal Lawmakers For COVID-19 Financial Aid

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has sent letters to Congress and the White House appealing for financial aid to offset the impact of COVID-19, reported PortTechnology.com.

“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, America’s seaports are experiencing significant financial challenges as commercial cargo has plummeted and passenger travel has nearly ceased,” said AAPA President and CEO Christopher J. Connor.

“At the same time, their expenses for things such as personal protection equipment for their workers, sanitation protocols often requiring extensive worker overtime, safety and disinfection supplies, and even security, have greatly reduced ports’ ability to invest in necessary infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, and make their debt and bond obligation payments.”

U.S. West Coast ports, particularly Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, are among the hardest hit across the country, due to blank sailings coupled with the ongoing effects of the U.S.-China trade war.

The AAPA estimates that COVID-19 could result in the loss of 130,000 jobs at U.S. seaports.

Source: PortTechnology.com

Eight Candidates Vying For WTO Director-General Position

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is in the process of vetting eight candidates to find a replacement for outgoing Director-General Roberto Azevedo, who is resigning at the end of August.

Candidates have until September 7th to campaign, mostly in a virtual setting, before the field is reduced to five candidates, then two, before a final candidate is chosen, which will take approximately two months.

Three WTO ambassadors who chair leading committees are leading the search process. They will take into consideration which candidate has the widest support to determine their final decision.

Source: Reuters.com

FDA Sets FY2021 User Fees For Voluntary Qualified Import Program

In a Federal Register notice published on August 3, 2020 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that its user fees for the Voluntary Qualified Import Program (VQIP) are $17,000 for fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.

VQIP provides expedited processing of food importations by importers who have voluntarily agreed to participate in the program.

Nonetheless, “FDA has only approved one participant for VQIP’s FY20 program period, and experts have said the program’s high cost, coupled with unclear benefits, are behind the lack of concrete interest among food importers,” reported International Trade Today.

Source: InternationalTradeToday.com

Trade Shows/ Conferences

Trade Shows/Conferences Location Date
 ASCM Connect New Orleans, LA Sept 13 – 15
ProcureCon Indirect West Scottsdale, AZ Sept 16 -18
(Virtual) CSCMP Edge https://cscmpedge.org/website/14708/ Sept 20 – 23
Supply Chain USA Virtual https://events.eft.com/3pl/ Oct 7 – 8
Transportation Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference Chicago, IL Oct 20 – 23
Home Delivery World Philadelphia, PA Oct 29 – 30
Gartner Supply Chain Symposium | Xpo https://www.gartner.com/en/conferences/na/supply-chain-us Nov 3 – 5

Given the current environment, certain information in this Trade Broadcast may change from the date of distribution. Please note the disclaimer below.

2020 UPS® Tradenomics Webcast Series

All webcasts are complimentary

Register for the series here

September 24: Brexit Update – Status of a UK-EY Trade Agreement

Time: 11:00-11:45AM ET (Note the morning start in the US)

This year of transition, 2020, is focused on putting together a trade deal between the EU and the UK for implementation in 2021. We will address the current status of the deal and how it might impact trade upon implementation.

Register for the webinar here

 Especially for our Canadian customers, but available to all:

September 15: Canada’s CARM: CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management

Time: 3:00-3:45PM ET

CBSA’s CARM project is a multi-year initiative designed to modernize and streamline the collection of tax and duty for goods imported into Canada. We will review the program and what is means for the Canadian importer.

Register for the webinar here

Note: dates subject to change

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