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4 Key Takeaways from the Global Supply Chain Summit

4 Key Takeaways from the Global Supply Chain Summit.Transportfolio


Discussions about customs automation, the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and infrastructure status and its trade implications swirled in Washington, D.C., at the 4th Annual Global Supply Chain Summit, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In case you weren’t able to be there, these were my takeaways from the event.

  1. The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) is moving ahead. Even though all trade is supposed to be facilitated electronically by a single platform by December 31, 2016, ACE is almost 100% functional. I participated on a panel with other members of the trade community, speaking about ACE from a broker’s perspective. Our company and clients have been working hard to meet the ACE deadlines and are eagerly looking forward to full ACE functionality. The panel also featured Maria Luisa Boyce, Senior Advisor, Trade and Private Sector Engagement & Director, Office of Trade Relations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She reinforced how critical it will be to partner with the trade for ACE to be successful. Boyce also explained how CBP will continue to transform and automate to meet the business needs of the trade.
  2. The increase in De Minimis will make it easier for foreign firms to import directly to U.S. consumers. The overarching message throughout the day was the continuing transformation of the trade environment—more online consumer purchasing and an increase in buying from outside of the United States versus traditional brick and mortar stores. With De Minimis recently increasing from $200 to $800 (thus, no customs entry required), the door opens to a whole new level of ease for low-value, non-commercial shipments imported into the U.S. There are still aspects of this that need to be worked out regarding compliance with Participating Government Agencies (PGA). But I found myself asking, “How long until Amazon Prime or a similar service offers free 3-day shipping to a U.S. consumer who purchases a product from China?”
  3. The trade as a whole seems very much in favor of seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) approved. Those present mostly said the U.S. must take the driver’s seat in participating in TPP—that we cannot afford to fall behind and let other countries pave the way for the economic growth that TPP would allow.
  4. Infrastructure deterioration is a major concern. This is true not only for U.S. infrastructure, but for certain trade lanes leading into the U.S. The consensus was that a lack of funding hampers initiatives that CBP has implemented to expedite and improve trade.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Commissioner, the Honorable R. Gil Kerlikowske, also spoke. He reiterated the importance of the single window in ACE and highlighted certain CBP initiatives, such as IPR, ADD/CVD evasion, and forced child labor goods.

Do you agree with the takeaways I’ve outlined above? Continue the discussion here.

Related content: U.S. Customs Compliance Your Guide to “reasonable care,” Global Forwarding: Biggest Fastest Savings, and Optimizing Your Supply Chain with Air Cargo.