Late last month US Customs and Border Protection indefinitely delayed the most recent release of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE.) At press time CBP wasn’t been able to say when the last capabilities will be deployed or what the issue is.
ACE is now three years behind schedule and more than $1 billion over budget. Though designed with the intent of streamlining cross-border trade, replacing the antiquated Automated Commercial System (ACS) and allowing shippers to easily transmit documents with government agencies, the system will still not capture all Foreign-Trade Zone transactions, most notably admissions, even after this final release.
This release including the last of the so-called “core” trade capabilities — liquidation, reconciliation, drawback, duty deferral, collections, and the Automated Surety Interface (ASI) — were originally supposed to be deployed this past January.
The Trump administration seems poised to raise tariffs on steel from China after Commerce Secretary Ross invoked an obscure provision of U.S. trade law, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The provision allows the president to unilaterally "adjust" imports, through tariffs, quotas or other means, should the Department of Commerce find evidence that those imports threaten national security.
Daniel Griswold, senior research fellow and co-director of the Program on the American Economy and Globalization at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University notes that the United States remains one of the world's top steel makers, producing about 80 million metric tons a year. While Americans import another 30 million tons, the top seven foreign providers – Canada, the European Union, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Japan – are all friendly allies. Together they supplied four-fifths of the steel imported into the U.S. in 2016.
He further notes the construction industry alone consumes 42 percent of the steel supplied each year in the United States, followed by the automobile industry, which consumes another 25 percent. Other key steel- consuming industries are machinery and equipment, energy, and appliances. Higher steel prices would drive up their production costs, raising the price of their final products, and reducing sales.
This could also drive industries dependent on steel pricing to relocate to countries where there ability to source cheap steel and export those products to the U.S. would be unimpeded, costing jobs here at home.
On the Fourth of July, North Korea marked a milestone by firing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that soared into space before landing in the sea near Japan. U.S. military analysts confirmed the successful test of a missile which could put Alaska within its range.
"Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region and the world," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement shortly afterward. "Global action is required to stop a global threat."
President Trump still seems to be pursuing a strategy centered on having neighboring China, North Korea's largest trading partner, handle the problem. "Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" he tweeted this week.
Tensions between the U.S. and China were already on the rise, following the U.S. Treasury Department's sanctions on a Chinese bank accused of helping North Korea and an arms sale to Taiwan, which mainland China views as a renegade republic.
Trump admitted last month in a tweet that his hope of getting China to rein in North Korea "has not worked out." It should make for very interesting discussions at the G-20 summit meetings later this week in Hamburg which includes the leadership of the U.S., China, Japan, and South Korea.
The European Union and Japan are close to sealing one of the largest free trade agreements ever, a deal that could stoke pressure for the U.S. to return to talks on TPP and TTIP.
The deal would bring together two giants encompassing a quarter of the world’s economy, and give both parties better access to core industries like cars and machinery, while laying down new rules for resolving investment disputes and removing structural barriers to trade, according to a partial draft of the agreement obtained by The New York Times.
Perhaps in response, Commerce Secretary Ross gave a speech via video feed to an event hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party. Ross agreed with Merkel that the U.S. and the European Union should resume talks on a free-trade agreement. The Trump administration made a “conscious decision not to walk away from” the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Ross said.
“As your biggest customer, we hope to obtain a larger share of your market,” he said. “We, as major trading partners of each other, should have a free-trade agreement.”
The chancellor in her speech welcomed Ross’s support for restarting talks on TTIP. It’s a rare point of agreement on trade policy between Trump and Merkel, who will be key players when G-20 leaders meet later this week.
Ever wonder why K Street is known as the home of the lobbying corps in your nation’s capital? Because there is no J Street! The urban legend is that Washington DC’s designer, Pierre L’Enfant hated John Jay, the nation’s chief justice at the time, which therefore prompted him to skip J Street. But it’s really because in the 18th century, I and J were almost interchangeable.
Please note, the links in these notices have not yet been activated.
Premier Logistics, LLC received approval to operate their Tulsa, Oklahoma location as Subzone 53C (more)
5.11, Inc. submitted an application to expand Subzone 231B by adding 24.75 acre Site #3 in Manteca, California (more)
Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig received approval for production activity of stationary oil & gas drilling rigs within Site 1 of FTZ 265 in Conroe, Texas (more)
MTD Consumer Group Inc. submitted an application to operate their 89 acre Martin, Tennessee location as a Subzone of FTZ 283 (more)
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. requested the expansion of Subzone 29F to add an additional 20 acre Site #4 in Berea, Kentucky (more)
Bauer Manufacturing LLC dba NEORig submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add hydraulic roughnecks to the list of foreign-sourced components for stationary oil & gas drilling rigs within Site 1 of FTZ 265 in Conroe, Texas (more)
Voestalpine Texas, LLC submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add direct reduction iron remet and hot briquetted iron fines to the list of foreign-sourced components within Subzone 122T in Portland, Texas (more)
BGM America, Inc. submitted an application to operate their 40 acre Marion, South Carolina location as a Subzone of FTZ 127 (more)
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority was approved to organize FTZ 229 under the Alternative Site Framework with a service area of the Counties of Boone, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Wayne, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming in West Virginia (more)
Gildan Yarns, LLC submitted an application requesting production authority for polyester staple fiber to be used for export within Site 19 of FTZ 57 in Salisbury, North Carolina (more)
DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add foreign status coatings and lamination to semi-completed coated paper to the scope of production authority within Subzone 57C in Concord, North Carolina (more)
Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. requested the expansion of Subzone 143D to add Site #3 in Sacramento, California (more)
Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. received authorization of production activity for automotive fuel injection assemblies within Subzone 29F in Harrodsburg, Kentucky (more)
MTD Consumer Group Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for landscaping equipment and off-road utility vehicles within a new site of FTZ 283 in Martin, Tennessee (more)
PGTEX USA, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add glass fiber rovings for export as an input to the scope of authority within Site 3 of FTZ 68 in El Paso, Texas (more)
Romark Global Pharma, LLC received authorization of production activity for pharmaceuticals within Subzone 7P in Manati, Puerto Rico (more)
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. received authorization of production activity for automotive vehicles and sub-assemblies production within Subzone 177B in Princeton, Indiana (more)
Whirlpool Corp. received authorization of production activity for washing machines within Subzone 8I in Clyde and Green Springs, Ohio (more)
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. received approval to operate their Inwood (Orange County), New York facility as Subzone 37E (more)
Amcor Flexibles L.L.C. received authorization of production activity for flexible packaging production except for aluminum/plastic tear strips within FTZ 29 in Shelbyville, Kentucky (more)
Apple Inc. received authorization of production activity for data server cabinets within Subzone 221A in Mesa, Arizona (more)
IRIS USA, Inc. received authorization of production activity for plastic household storage/organizational containers within Site 12 of FTZ 277 in Surprise, Arizona (more)
CGT U.S., Ltd. received authorization of production activity for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coated upholstery fabric cover stock subject to a restriction requiring that foreign-status polyester and polycotton knit fabrics be admitted privileged foreign-status within Subzone 80E in New Braunfels, Texas (more)
MannKind Corporation received authorization of production activity for fumaryl diketopiperazone (FDKP) carrier/receptor powder within Subzone 76B in Danbury, Connecticut (more)
STIHL Inc. received authorization of production activity for additional outdoor power products manufacturing subject to a restriction requiring that foreign-status lithium ion batteries be admitted in privileged foreign status within Subzone 20E in Virginia Beach, Virginia (more)
Superior Weighting Products LLC received authorization of production activity for barite/calcium carbonate/bentonite within FTZ 122 in Corpus Christi, Texas (more)
voestalpine Texas, LLC received authorization of production activity for hot briquetted iron by-products within Subzone 122T in Portland, Texas (more)
Mead Johnson & Co, LLC received approval to expand Subzone 43B in Zeeland, Michigan (more)
Caribe Rx Services, Inc. received approval to operate their Caguas, Puerto Rico facility as Subzone 163G (more)
Destileria Serralles, Inc. received approval to operate their Ponce, Puerto Rico facility as Subzone 163I (more)
R. Ortiz Auto Distributors, Inc. received approval to operate their Caguas, Puerto Rico facility as Subzone 163H (more)
Coleman Company, Inc. submitted an application requesting unrestricted production authority for personal floatation devices and flotation cushions within Subzone 119I, and the Foreign-Trade Zones Board is inviting public comment through July 31 on its staff's preliminary recommendation to not approve the requested authority in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota (more)
Miami-Dade County has applied to expand FTZ 281 to include 3,248.24 acres of Miami International Airport as a new magnet site in Miami, Florida (more)
McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc./Stella-Jones Corp. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for export-only wood product treatment within Subzone 86H in Tacoma, Washington (more)
Nutkao USA, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for export-only authority to produce hazelnut cocoa spread using foreign-status refined cane sugar within FTZ 214 in Battleboro, North Carolina (more)
DPT Laboratories, Ltd. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for pharmaceutical products within a new Subzone of FTZ 80 in San Antonio, Texas (more)
Flemish Master Weavers submitted an application requesting production authority to use continuous filament polypropylene yarn in non-privileged foreign status for machine-made woven area rugs within Subzone 186A in Sanford, Maine (more)
Pfizer, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add additional pharmaceutical components within Subzone 43E in Kalamazoo, Michigan (more)
Valeo North America, Inc. d/b/a Valeo Compressor North America submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add additional components for motor vehicle air-conditioner compressors within Site 1 of FTZ 39 in Dallas, Texas (more)
The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has applied to reorganize FTZ 19 under the Alternative Site Framework with a proposed service area of Burt, Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington Counties, Nebraska (more)
Bell Sports, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add additional components for sports equipment within Subzone 114F in Rantoul, Illinois (more)
Hans-Mill Corp. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for household trash cans and plastic storage totes within Subzone 64D in Jacksonville, Florida (more)
Comments or suggestions on our publication? The editorial staff of the Foreign-Trade ‘Zine, the eMagazine of FTZ News would love to hear from you.
Don’t Put Away Your Woolies . . .
It was an uncharacteristically cool, wet month in your Nation’s Capital. A time for hats, jackets, and a battle-ready umbrella. The FTZine staff thought it was April showers that brought May flowers. Also arriving last month was the new United States Trade Representative. USTR Robert Emmet “Bob” Lighthizer was sworn in and got off to a fast start. He even showed up in some unexpected places, as you’ll see below.