IMPORT & EXPORT
By Deborah Belgum | May 18, 2017
Trade experts were expecting a free-trade agreement between the United States and Europe to be signed, sealed and delivered by the time Barack Obama left the White House. But things didn’t turn out as planned as the political winds in Europe and the United States shifted recently from pro free trade to increased protectionism.
Southern California’s two major ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach have seen a revival of activity this summer as shippers return to the West Coast after a major port congestion problem earlier this year.
Despite massive congestion problems plaguing the West Coast ports earlier this year, cargo-container volumes for imported goods are expected to rise 4.2 percent this year compared with last year.
Cargo volumes at the nation’s ports are seeing a healthy upswing as retailers start stocking their shelves for the Back-to-School season.
One of the biggest free-trade agreements ever negotiated by the United States could be a done deal by the end of this year. But it is still unclear how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will affect textile and apparel makers that manufacture in the United States.
In May, the Port of Long Beach saw its container volumes jump 4.8 percent over the same month last year while the Port of Los Angeles said its container volumes barely budged, rising only 0.8 percent in May over the previous year.
Nine months after agents busted a long-running Mexican drug money laundering operation in the Los Angeles Fashion District, an underwear importer has pleaded guilty to several offenses linked to the scheme.
Members of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents shipping lines and terminal operators, and International Longshore & Warehouse Union, which represents Longshore workers, voted to ratify a new five-year contract.
Hundreds of apparel importers are recalibrating their logistics plans before the next big shipping season hits in July.
SAE-A, the largest apparel manufacturing company in South Korea, has opened a cotton spinning mill in Costa Rica, which is the first for the Central American country.
Europe has slightly increased a retaliatory tariff that it imposes on women’s blue jeans imported from the United States.
More than 200 truckers tired of being classified as independent contractors rather than full-time employees walked off the job and have been picketing around port terminals, rail yards and customer warehouses.
The five-year tentative contract agreement between longshore workers and their employers has been given the thumbs up, paving the way for a vote that will set the contract in stone.
In a sign of how bad the port congestion problem grew on the West Coast this January, East Coast ports ended up handling 45 percent of the cargo containertraffic that entered the United States, up from 36 percent during the same month last year.
Even though a labor dispute has been tentatively resolved, port officials in the Los Angeles area admit it will take at least three months to deal with the traffic jam of goods that has plagued the watery transportation centers since October.
The South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center turned into the United Nations for the semiannual Sourcing at MAGIC show, which ran Feb. 16–19.