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 Oct 2021
Worsening port congestion is forcing western governments to realize that strong infrastructure is crucial to global trade and that migration rules need to be eased in order to fill supply chain jobs.
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.”
08 Feb 2017
China's tariffs on US DDGs is killing exports of this important containerized commodity.
18 Jan 2017
A trade war between the United States and China will have no winners, the Chinese president told world leaders in Davos.
05 Dec 2016
The Port of Virginia hopes the expansion of a nearby foreign trade zone will make the port more attractive to shippers.
20 Nov 2016
Shippers face a brave new world in which they try to gauge whether new Trump administration will make good on its promises to deliver $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, reset trade deals, and repeal regulation.
21 Oct 2016
The 2016 US presidential election has been fraught with divisive discourse and reality television-style drama, but the top two leading candidates appear to actually agree when it comes to matters of transportation infrastructure and trade.
This year's round of TIGER grants has shippers and the transportation sector feeling neglected.
31 Jul 2016
U.S. freight projects this year received their lowest share ever from the TIGER federal grant program.
24 Jun 2015
The U.S. Senate Wednesday voted to renew trade promotion authority for the first time in nearly eight years, setting the stage for the a Pacific Rim partnership that some have heralded as the largest trade pact in history.
18 Jun 2015
12 Jun 2015
The U.S. Congress stymied President Obama’s trade agenda Friday, after the House of Representatives failed to approve a key portion of a trade package that would have given Obama the ability to fast-track trade deals, including a high-profile treaty with Pacific Rim nations.
15 May 2015
After a false start earlier the week, the U.S. Senate Thursday voted to open the debate on legislation to renew expired trade promotion authority.
16 Apr 2015
New legislation unveiled Thursday would give U.S. President Obama “fast track” authority to negotiate an ambitious trade accord with 11 other Pacific nations and set the course for what will be one of the toughest battles of the president’s last 19 months in office.
05 Feb 2015
A top Republican on Wednesday said he expects the new conservative Congress to pass trade promotion authority sometime this spring, potentially allowing President Obama to take a major trans-Pacific trade pact past the finish line this year.
04 Feb 2015
U.S. agriculture and medical product shippers could gain a larger share of the Cuban market if a bill reintroduced by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is passed.
18 Dec 2014
U.S. Gulf and South Atlantic ports see the thawing of Cold War restrictions on United States trade with Cuba trade as a potential new market — or a revival of an old one.
18 Dec 2014
The limited exemption for exports, and possibly the 53-year-old embargo, may become a thing of the past if Obama gets his way. But ending the embargo would require congressional action, something that’s politically questionable.
05 Dec 2014
WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lashed out at the Jones Act during a Friday panel at the Heritage Foundation, saying the 94-year-old maritime law is an anachronism that hurts U.S. farmers and manufacturers at the expense of foreign rivals.
01 Oct 2014
The U.S. and India called for enhanced bilateral cooperation and laid out an aggressive plan to boost trade and investment following meetings in Washington between India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama.
27 Aug 2014
The value of total trade and exports moving through U.S. foreign-trade zones last year hit record highs, reflecting exporter and retailers’ increased of the hubs.
25 Aug 2014
The world’s largest container manufacturer, China International Marine Containers (CIMC), does not expect the U.S. government’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigation to be resolved before May next year.
21 Aug 2014
Singamas chairman Teo Siong Seng does not believe the antidumping and countervailing duty investigation the company is facing in the U.S. will have a lasting effect on its business.
08 Jul 2014
A new program by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s integrates its two largest trusted trader programs — Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and Importer Self Assessment — and includes additional perks meant to offer tangible benefits in return for the effort that importers put in to participate.
04 Jul 2014
Nicaragua has always occupied a special place among CAFTA member states.
Made in USA text
25 Jun 2014
WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturers could lose a powerful resource that helps some of their foreign customers get loan guarantees they couldn’t secure in the private sector, which backers say allows many American exporters to stay globally competitive.
28 May 2014
Gil Kerlikowske oversees the largest U.S. law enforcement agency and the second-largest revenue-collecting source in the federal government.
02 Apr 2014
NEWPORT, R.I. — Companies must “keep the pressure on” for congressional passage of pro-trade legislation, said Jonathan Gold, vice president, supply chain and customs policy, at the National Retail Federation.
06 Mar 2014
WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman today gave a positive picture of the Obama administration’s trade agenda success and reiterated the importance of the president gaining authority to submit two ongoing major trade pacts to Congress for a simple yes-or-no vote.
Fred Smith of FedEx
03 Mar 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. — A rising tide of protectionism, combined with “low-growth” policies, is impeding the global economic recovery and could threaten historic levels of prosperity, Frederick W. Smith, the chairman, president and CEO of global transport operator FedEx, said today.