Hurricane Harvey landed a double punch on Gulf Coast ocean freight when it rumbled ashore late last month. First, the brute force of the storm did significant damage to coastal areas, then, the major rainfall which accompanied the storm caused widespread flooding and additional damage, hampering efforts to begin repairs. Customs and Border Protection announced that commercial trade operations at the Ports of 2101 (Port Arthur), 5301 (Houston Seaport), 5309 (Houston Airport), 5310 (Galveston), and 5311 (Freeport, TX) were temporarily suspended, but all Port Houston facilities were scheduled to resume operations on Friday, Sept. 1st. The Port Of Houston said in a statement that there was no evidence of flooding and no visible damage to containers, cranes, or other terminal equipment.
Late last month the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-awaited review of the FTZ program. The report focused mainly on the role of CBP within the program and port uniformity was a common thread in the study’s three major recommendations:
1. CBP should centrally compile information from FTZ compliance reviews and associated enforcement actions so that standardized data are available for assessing compliance and internal control risks across the FTZ program. 2. CBP should conduct a risk analysis of the FTZ program using data across FTZs, including an analysis of the likelihood and significance of compliance violations and enforcement actions. 3. CBP should utilize the results of the program-wide risk analysis to respond to identified risks, such as updating risk assessment tools and developing best practices for CBP’s FTZ compliance review and risk categorization system.
According to the GAO, CBP concurred with these recommendations and identified steps it will take to address them.
The U.S. economy grew at a faster clip than initially believed during the second quarter, as upward revisions to consumer spending and investment data – and downward revisions to imports – propelled gross domestic product expansion to 3 percent.
Not since the first quarter of 2015 has the economy seen that kind of GDP growth during an individual quarter, according to a report published last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The 3 percent gain seen in April, May and June more than double the 1.2 percent expansion during January, February and March.
Exports were revised down 0.4 percentage points, but import updates more than made up for the losses in the trading deficit with a downward revision of 0.5 percentage points. And federal government spending, though it ended up being dinged 0.4 percentage points in the updated metrics, still posted its strongest gains since the end of 2015.
Nonresidential fixed investments, though, enjoyed some of the most significant revisions of all major components to U.S. economic expansion. The metric – which is generally viewed as a proxy for company spending on equipment, technology and structures to help make workers more productive – was bumped up 1.7 percentage points.
Trade negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States are resuming discussions on the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The first round of the talks, which opened in Washington last month, got off to a tense start with the Trump administration admonishing its neighbors and declaring that Nafta had “fundamentally failed.”
The first round of negotiations was not congenial. The Trump administration’s representatives railed against NAFTA in public while seeking major concessions from their Canadian and Mexican counterparts in private.
As the second round gets underway in Mexico City, the three countries said in a statement that they were committed to an “ambitious outcome. One area in which the countries seem to agree is the need to modernize NAFTA, which predates the internet.
DPT Laboratories, Ltd. received approval for production activity of pharmaceutical products within Subzone 80F in San Antonio, Texas (Learn More)
Pfizer, Inc. received approval for production activity of xerographic pharmaceutical products within Subzone 43E in Kalamazoo, Michigan (Learn More)
Valeo North America, Inc. received approval for production activity of motor vehicle air-conditioner compressors within Site #1 of FTZ 39 in Dallas, Texas (Learn More)
Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for automotive brake linings, pads, and disc pads assembly and production within Site 33 of FTZ 26 in Covington, Georgia (Learn More)
5.11, Inc. received approval to expand their Modesto, Lathrop and Manteca, California facilities in Subzone 231B (Learn More)
MTD Consumer Group, Inc. received approval to operate their Martin, Tennessee facility as Subzone 283A (Learn More)
Coleman Co., Inc. submitted new evidence in support of their application requesting unrestricted production authority for personal flotation devices within Subzone 119I in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, reopening a public comment period (Learn More)
Polaris Industries, Inc. received authorization of production activity for spark-ignition internal combustion engines within Subzone 167B in Osceola, Wisconsin (Learn More)
CornellCookson, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for rolling steel doors within Site #11 of FTZ 277 in Goodyear, Arizona (Learn More)
BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC submitted an application to expand Subzone 38A by adding a 10th site with 10.68 acres in Duncan, South Carolina (Learn More)
The Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation took over Grantee responsibilities for FTZ 103 in Grand Forks, North Dakota (Learn More)
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/21/2017-17530/designation-of-new-grantee-foreign-trade-zone-103-grand-forks-north-dakota (Learn More)
Westlake Chemical Corp. received approval to expand Subzone 87F in Sulphur, Louisiana (Learn More)
Glovis America, Inc. received approval to operate their Shreveport, Louisiana facility as Subzone 145B (Learn More)
SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, LLC received approval of their revised production notification which requires SGL to make duty payment at the polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fiber duty rate on the full value of PAN fiber introduced into the production process, including scrap, within Site #3 of FTZ 203 in Moses Lake, Washington (Learn More)
Universal Metal Products, Inc. received approval to operate their Pharr, Texas facility as Subzone 12B (Learn More)
The City of Fort Lauderdale applied to expand the Alternative Site Framework service area of FTZ 241 to include additional area in Broward County (Dania’s Cut) and to expand Subzone 241A to include two additional sites totaling 25.84 acres in Dania Beach, Florida(Learn More)
Brose North America Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for automotive seats, drives and door frames within a new subzone of FTZ 98 in Vance, Alabama (Learn More)
General Electric Transportation submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add underground mining vehicles and their components for assembly at its facilities in Fort Worth and Haslet, Texas within Subzone 196B, and in Erie and Grove City, Pennsylvania, within Subzones 247A and 247B (Learn More)
Klaussner Home Furnishings submitted a notification of proposed production activity for additional components of upholstered furniture within Subzone 230D in Asheboro and Candor, North Carolina (Learn More)
The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey drowned out the normal news din in your Nation’s Capital last month. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Houston and its environs affected by the storm. The scale of the storm means the road to rebuild will be long. You can help here.
The staff of the Foreign-Trade ‘Zine hopes everyone enjoyed a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. (more)