United States Trade Policy

United States Trade Policy

News and analysis of US trade policy, including the evolution and impact of US free-trade agreements (such as the revised free-trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada), and important trade disputes involving violations of international law. 

As regulations regarding cross-border trade continue to increase, international shippers need to mitigate their risks of non-compliance by ensuring that their suppliers, products and shipments are in compliance with multinational regulations.

Uncertainties about the future of some major trade agreements continue to make it more difficult for many shippers in those localities to plan for the future. Despite pressures to impose protectionist tariffs, free-trade agreements will continue to play a major role for many US importers and exporters.

To remain up-to-date about complex regulatory changes, many importers are turning toward new automated tools that save them time, cut their costs, and improve visibility into their product development and supply chains.  

14 Aug 2019
The containerized shipping industry was able to convince the US Trade Representative to take cranes and containers off a list of tariffs going into effect on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.
18 Jun 2019
Marine industry leaders testified before the Section 301 Committee to lobby against a 25 percent tariff on shipping containers and ship-to-shore cranes, repeating many of the arguments made a year ago about the business fallouts.
14 Jun 2019
US agriculture exporters should brace themselves for a prolonged trade war that will continue to erode their share of the all-important China market because China won’t budge on certain demands, and Trump’s self-image is inflated by being tough on China.
04 Jun 2019
US shippers facing a new 5 percent tariff on Mexican goods are expected to rush goods north before a June 10 deadline. That could create more costly congestion.
03 Jun 2019
The outlook for air cargo is turning negative as carriers face headwinds in the form of trade upheaval and falling demand.
03 Jun 2019
With uncertainty surrounding US-Mexico relations, including threats of border shutdowns, tariffs and a Congressional showdown the US-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA-NAFTA 2), shippers are expressing more interest in all-water options to bypass any congestion on the border.
28 May 2019
Economists and shipping industry leaders warn the US-China trade war could be a potential tipping point for a global economy that was already cooling before President Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
16 May 2019
Complacent markets that were sure cooler heads would prevail in trade discussions between the US and China have been rocked by a rapid-fire escalation in tariffs.
05 Apr 2019
Trump’s trade policies find little favor with footwear executives, but a former USTR reminded them that trade is a long game and the complicated US-China relationship predates the current president.
Shanghai port.
18 Dec 2018
US-China tariff uncertainty is prompting US-bound manufacturing moves out of China, but undertaking the shift is not a quick and easy process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Port of Los Angeles.
05 Apr 2018
Neither country has listed a deadline for tariff implementation, hence the situation remains dynamic and fluid. However, key analysts are formulating worst-case scenarios.
Port of New Orleans.
03 Apr 2018
Steel and aluminum are important cargoes at US ports on the Gulf, East, and West coasts and the Great Lakes.
Mexico City, Mexico.
19 Feb 2018
To cite the late, great writer Mark Twain, the reports of the North American Free Trade Agreement’s death are greatly exaggerated. Shippers and transportation providers looking past the noise of mainstream reporting see reason for optimism in 2018 for the world's largest trilateral trade pact.
23 Jan 2018
The Trump administration announced the tariffs Monday in response to complaints from US-based manufacturers that foreign competition was unfairly flooding the US market with cheap imports.
Politics clouds outlook for breakbulk steel shipments
12 Jan 2018
There is hope for the steel sector in the form of a macroeconomic tailwind: beneath the fog of politics, steel trade volume depends on underlying demand, which analysts predict will rise modestly in 2018.
01 Nov 2017
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the US Export-Import Bank has described the bank as “corporate welfare” that should be abolished.
18 Sep 2017
"You just find an export credit agency in another country. When that happens, the supply chain leaves the United States and goes to that other country.”