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Trade Policy Under Trump?

With the election hype mostly over, the President-Elect is moving to build his cabinet.  This recent election cycle showed the world that there are great disagreements about how the United States should engage in international trade.  President Elect Trump’s message often conveyed a more protectionist position for businesses engaged in international trade.  But what is the real expected position and where will the new leadership lead the United States with regards to trade?

The bottom line right now is that there is very little concrete confirmed vision regarding trade policy.  We do know that there will be very little change within Congress  since existing members of key committees will likely continue to support expanded trade.  Here are a few points on key programs and what we know, or don’t know:

  • TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership)- Most likely, this will be at the very least put on the back burner and possibly abandoned.
  • T-TIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)- No definite direction has been defined on this program.
  • NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)- This is a significant program to watch.   The authority to leave NAFTA exists of course but more than likely  NAFTA will be modified, however the extent of the modifications are not known at this time.
  • GSP (Generalized System of Preferences)- Per GSP provisions, it seems that more items are being excluded from duty free treatment.  This because some key commodities from GSP countries have exceeded the competitive need limitations.  This will no doubt be a discussion point inside the administration as GSP renewal battles are fought in the next term.  GSP must be renewed by the end of 2017 and will probably go down to the wire for renewal. 

The new administration is signaling the intention to pursue more bi-lateral agreements instead of multi-lateral as in the past.

JAS Forwarding USA Inc. Compliance Team continues to be involved locally and nationally.  We are keeping our eye on the landscape and always working to ensure we are able to inform and assist to take action and protect our client’s trade interests through informed compliance.  Questions?  Contact us today!

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