As the FTZine goes to press, Joe Biden holds a lead in electoral college votes that appears solid enough to make him the next President of the United States. Election results have been much tighter than polling had predicted, however his lead appears sufficient that a court challenge in any one state would not change that result. The counting continues
The outcome in the House and Senate also did not match expectations from the polls, as both parties appear to have maintained their respective majorities, but saw each grow smaller. With control of Congress still split, President Biden will face a difficult time moving controversial legislation, which will likely make dramatic shifts in taxes or trade hard to enact for at least the next two years.
Election turnout set a record in almost every state in the nation. Despite widely reported concerns, there were almost no reports of violence through the process. America wins when America votes.
As we publish, Joe Biden has a commanding lead in electoral votes and a wide range of potential scenarios hand him victory in the U.S. Presidential election. The trade community can now look forward to what policy and personnel changes a Biden Administration would bring to Washington.
After the contentious election, control of the House and Senate stayed as they were. That means the coveted Committee Chairs will stay with the same party, and few if any will change leadership at all. Without full control of Congress, the more progressive policy ideas floated during the election cycle are less likely to make it through the legislative gauntlet.
These election results appeal to Wall Street. The S&P 500 is up nearly 2 percent this morning, after the index jumped 2.2 percent yesterday. Big winners include health care, technology and private equity companies. Such a boost in investor confidence bodes well for the future of an economy trying to shake off the effects of the pandemic.
You may have recently seen a CBP alert about “Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Requests” and figured that was a message to carriers and had nothing to do with you. Actually, that message was for all importers, including FTZ users and operators!
On May 22, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deployed an automated online application for submitting electronic vessel manifest confidentiality requests. This enhancement enables ocean carriers, importers, exporters and consignees utilizing ocean transportation to manage their own requests for electronic vessel manifest confidentiality via the online application, located on CBP.gov.
You may wonder why you might want to make such a request.
CBP provides ocean manifest data to various data collection agencies that then sell the information in various mining and reporting tools. The data is aggregated, to protect sensitive data such as pricing, but some of the data mining providers use methods of extrapolation to recreate missing information.
If you’d prefer that your data not be made available to the public, you can do so by filing one of these requests. This used to be a manual process and took several weeks to process. This new online form is processed within 24 hours and is a simple 4-step application that takes only a few minutes.
You can read more about the Electronic Vessel Manifest Confidentiality Request process here
If you have questions about Confidentiality requests, please send them to our Sr. Vice President and Vice Chair of the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones, Melissa Irmen at Melissa.Irmen@iscm.co.
We’re Not The Only Ones
China has increased trade restrictions against Australia, suspending imports of timber and barley, amid tension over the coronavirus, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. Welcome to the club, Australia!
German officers are expected to be deployed with the Australian Navy and a German frigate will patrol the Indian Ocean to counter China's influence in the Indo-Pacific region. That will likely add Germany to the growing list of countries in Beijing’s cross-hairs.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the German Defense Minister known as AKK, said the Indo-Pacific had become crucial to the world’s well-being. “We believe that Germany needs to mark its position in the region," she said in an interview.
Chinese authorities are also delaying clearance for a $1.4 million shipment of live lobsters from Australia. American farmers recalled their containers of soybeans left rotting at the docks as their export shipments were delayed.
Beijing has blocked or limited imports of Australian coal, beef and other goods and announced an investigation into whether wine was being sold at improperly low prices.
That follows demands by Beijing for the Australian government to drop its support for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic that began in central China.
Australia was the first western country to ban Huawei over national security concerns in 2018. The United States and Britain have since followed suit.
The moves by both Australia and Germany were a sign of an international coalition with broadening concerns surrounding China.
New Wave of EU Lockdowns Could Eventually Impact Trade
Governments across Europe have instituted new restrictions and lockdowns across Europe to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The U.K., Italy, Sweden, Hungary and the Netherlands have all laid out new requirements, which will eventually impact economic activity and trade if they remain in force for an extended period.
Late last month Belgium reported record hospital admissions, Austrian infections hit a daily high and French fatalities rose by the most since April. Denmark said it found a new strain of Covid-19 after an outbreak in the country’s mink population led to a mutation of the virus that might hamper efforts to develop a vaccine.
Not all countries are reacting the same way to the outbreak.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister cited his own experience with the virus as the reason to reject lockdown procedures.
Boyko Borissov, who remains at home after catching the coronavirus, kept social-distancing restrictions to a minimum.
“The country won’t be closed, quite the opposite -- now I feel more certain as a leader than ever,” Borissov said in a Facebook video. “I’m strong, I feel confident enough to convince the people to overcome the virus.”
FTZ User BMW warned that the resurgent pandemic could derail a sales recovery driven by strong demand in China.
The German luxury carmaker recently confirmed its full-year profit forecast, but cautioned that Covid-19 is worsening in Europe’s biggest markets, with fresh lockdowns threatening to crimp the economy and automobile demand with it.
In mid-October, the United States and Brazil signed an update to their 2011 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC), adding three new annexes addressing Customs Administration and Trade Facilitation, Good Regulatory Practices, and Anticorruption.
Brazil is currently our 14th largest trading partner with $73.7 billion in goods in 2019. Exports totaled $42.9 billion, and the U.S. trade surplus with Brazil was $12.0 billion.
In March 2020, President Donald Trump and President Jair Bolsonaro announced plans to move toward free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. Those discussions led to the “mini trade deal,” signed to facilitate trade, improve regulatory cooperation, and strengthen anti-corruption efforts.
Brazil’s long-term trade strategy, however, remains bound by its status as a party to the Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR), a common market trade arrangement with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. If Brazil were to pursue an FTA, it would have to decide whether to pursue it together with MERCOSUR countries or bilaterally, which would require changing MERCOSUR’s rules.
Are you a Grantee looking for ways to reach out to FTZ prospects since in-person info sessions aren’t an option right now? Do you need a marketing tool that gives information about the program to prospective companies and helps pique their interest in learning more? Invite them to a FREE webinar produced by The National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones entitled, “FTZs: Trade’s Best Kept Secret”.
From their own desk, your FTZ leads will learn:
This is a great time to leverage this free webinar! Include the registration page in your outreach: https://www.naftz.org/event/dec-3-2020-webinar-ftz-trades-best-kept-secret/
As the FTZine goes to press, Joe Biden holds a lead in electoral college votes that appears solid enough to make him the next President of the United States. Election results have been much tighter than polling had predicted, however his lead appears sufficient that a court challenge in any one state would not change that result. The outcome in the House and Senate also did not match expectations from the polls, as both parties appear to have maintained their respective majorities, but saw each grow smaller. With control of Congress still split, President Biden will face a difficult time moving controversial legislation, which will likely make dramatic shifts in taxes or trade hard to enact for at least the next two years. Election turnout set a record in almost every state in the nation. Despite widely reported concerns, there were almost no reports of violence through the process. America wins when America votes.