IMPORT & EXPORT
By Andrew Asch | February 4, 2021
Cargo-ship congestion at California ports and those located around the United States is at some of the highest levels in years due to supply-chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help break up the congestion, on Feb. 1 the Port of Los Angeles started an incentive program to move trucks more efficiently and at a faster pace through its terminals, said Gene Seroka, the port’s executive director.
The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement was signed into law in the United States, but the adoption of a major trade treaty did not mean smooth sailing for global trade, as U.S. trade disagreements with China increasingly dominated headlines.
The Port of Los Angeles announced that October ranked as the busiest month in its 114-year history. A surge of container traffic also was experienced last month in Northern California, according to a statement released by the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif.
For technology-focused freight forwarder Flexport, creating a more streamlined approach to global trade has been the company’s goal since the introduction of its cloud software and data-analytics platform in 2013.
After the United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act on Sept. 22, the American Apparel and Footwear Association and other major apparel trade groups made a joint statement urging Congress to take a different path in its efforts to protect the human rights of the Uyghur Muslim minority in China’s Xinjiang region.
Steve Lamar, the president and chief executive officer of the trade group American Apparel & Footwear Association, testified Sept. 17 on steps American fashion-and-apparel companies can take to stop forced labor in China’s Xinjiang province.
Leading apparel trade associations in the United States made a joint statement July 23 condemning forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China. The group also stressed that it is a priority to guarantee that products made by forced labor do not appear in U.S. supply chains.
As a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was implemented July 1.
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the fashion business upside down and is putting supply chains through a giant stress test, said Neil Soni, vice president of business development and strategy for Omnichain, a Los Angeles–headquartered supply-chain company.
Importers faced with financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic can request a 90-day deferment in payments on certain duties, taxes and fees, according to an executive order signed by President Trump on April 18.
Due to a weak global-trade market resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, loaded container volume declined from 2019 totals during March at the Port of Oakland.
On March 19, members of the retail industry’s leading trade groups joined in a letter asking President Trump to suspend U.S. tariffs in place on Chinese imports. The tariff suspension would serve as a tool to blunt the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic, they said.
As regions of Northern California, including six Bay Area counties, prepared for shelter-in-place orders in response to COVID-19, the Port of Oakland announced on March 16 that it would remain open for business.
In a fast-paced set of events, President Donald Trump signed Phase Oneof the trade agreement between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China on Jan. 15. The next day, the U.S. Senate approved the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, a platform upon which Trump campaigned during 2016 as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee approved the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement by a 25–3 vote on Jan. 7.