What in the World Does the Trans-Pacific Partnership Mean for the Trade Community?

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Recently the United States Trade Representative released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Many news articles have been covering the TPP concerns revolving around intellectual property, environment concerns and the loss of jobs. All for good reason. With the introduction of NAFTA, these are some of the issues that came to the forefront of the national conversation regarding free trade. These issues are definitely addressed in the agreement where collective bargaining rights and “acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages” are demanded. However, in the words of the infamous Mike Tyson – everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

But, what does this mean for the international trade community and tariff rates? Let’s jump right to the good stuff and focus on some of the largest duty rates to be eliminated.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Free Trade Agreements

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: A Tale of Two Condiments

A Tale of Two Condiments

When traveling between the United States and Europe, one of the most startling differences that I observe is the concoctions that we put on our French fries. First of all, we can’t agree whether or not these delicious fried potatoes should be called fries, chips, or “freedom fries.” Once served to us, Americans love their ketchup, continental Europeans love their mayonnaise, and the occasional Brit won’t eat their chips without a particular brand of brown sauce named after Parliament. However, we all can agree that, while bad for you, fried potatoes are delicious. 

The EU and U.S. also mostly agree that international trade is a good thing. Trade stimulates job creation and incentivizes economic growth. Markets are often opened by the implementation of preferential trade agreements between two jurisdictions. The U.S. and EU are currently negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to strengthen the ties between the two continents and to stimulate growth. 

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Topics: Reconciliation

Is Your Reconciliation Bond Rider Current?

blog-ride-notice-04Importers participating in the Reconciliation Prototype Program (RPP) need to be aware that U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently started reviewing all reconciliation bond riders currently on file. 

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Topics: Reconciliation

I Got Kicked Out of Recon - Now What?

kicked-outHow long has the reconciliation program been around? The prototype – yes prototype – will celebrate its’ 16th birthday this coming October 1st. So imagine my surprise when I was recently contacted by an importer that had been “kicked out” of the program. Since that phone call several months ago I have been made aware of no less than five importers that have either received the “boot” or been “put on notice.”

Historically Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has put up with importers that are habitually late with their reconciliation filings. Meaning CBP – via FP&F – issues the NO FILE liqudated damages notices, the importer has their filer process and file a reconciliation entry, CBP mitigates the penalty, the importer pays the Option 1 amount, and we repeat the process again next month. Works for everyone involved right? CBP gets a little more money via the Option 1 amount, the importer doesn’t have to increase headcount or reallocate resources, and the recon filer gets more filings this way. These habitually late importers – and they know who they are – seem to have taken the stance that they would rather pay $500.00 each month for late files rather than address the problem.

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Topics: Reconciliation

Why You Need to Know about Export License Determination

Export License Determination.jpgYou may be asking yourself “Do all exports require a license?”  “How do I know if my particular “item or activity” requires a license?”  “Why is this information important me?” The U.S. Government has export control laws in place for a variety of reasons, primary of which is National Security.  Consequences for violation of export control laws can include monetary penalties, loss of export privileges and in some cases imprisonment of the violators. 

The Departments of Commerce, Treasury and State each have a set of licensing requirements when it comes to the export of items, technology, or software from the United States, as well any subsequent reexport.  The U.S. Department of Justice and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also have regulations related to export controls.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Export Compliance