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How Companies Can Be Preparing for an Uncertain Future

Posted by Michael Bellezza

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3/29/17 4:23 AM

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There seems to be a great deal of uncertainty amongst those tasked with their company’s international trade compliance. There is ongoing discussions of a wall, of a trade war with Mexico one day, and with China the next, or a 20% tariff on certain manufactured goods coming into the US.

I know a lot of trade compliance people, and I mean a LOT. Most of us are cut out from a similar cloth, or at least the same weave.

Uncertainly isn’t something that sits well.

Many of my customers are starting to field questions from senior management on what the future will hold for their supply chain, and how they should be adapting.

I then inevitably get a call. Sometimes as many as 4-5 a day.

I dust off my crystal ball but… alas, it is not any clearer.

The interesting side effect is that many of these companies are taking the time to review their supply chains, map out their flows, look at what programs and FTA’s they use today. This puts them in a position to be ready should something indeed change.

Many companies haven’t done this in quite some time and in doing so, are finding places where they can optimize their flows, maximize their savings, and in some cases, reduce their risk.

I can’t predict the future in the best of times, and with the current environment, we may all be better off with my crystal ball.

The best advice I can give for an uncertain future is to control what you can control.

That means taking stock of your product flows as they exist today so that you have a good baseline.  If something changes, you’ll know where all your chess pieces sit and will be in a better position to adapt to a changing board.  

Until then, the crystal ball is still hazy…

Need help figuring out what you can do to help prepare for whatever the future has in store? Reach out to us. Let us handle the details.  

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Topics: Europe, Export Compliance

Written by Michael Bellezza

Before joining Tradewin in 2010 as Principal of the US Consulting Practice, Michael had worked for Expeditors for 8 years in a wide variety of management positions including Customs Brokerage Operations, Import & Export Compliance, Freight Forwarding, and Supply Chain Analytics. Michael is responsible for all aspects of Tradewin's global consulting practices in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. He has a talent for bringing common sense solutions to complex regulatory scenarios. He specializes in building compliance programs, providing educational seminars and workshops, advising risk mitigation, and implementing duty reduction programs. Michael is a U.S. Licensed Customs Broker. He is IATA/FIATA certified and is a member of the International Compliance Professionals Association. He is a graduate of Boston College with a degree in Economics.