COVID-19 and the Impact on U.S. Trade

The COVID-19 Cargo Resolution Team is Coordinating Imports of Medical Supplies and PPE, as FEMA Issues New Rules on Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a considerable impact on the trade of medical products needed for testing, treatment and prevention of the virus. As the pandemic spreads worldwide, with millions of people infected and a growing number of fatalities, governments are working to stem the spread of the virus and treat those infected. These efforts have affected the flow of critical medical goods as these products are in far more demand due to the pandemic.

ACE Drawback and the Harbor Maintenance Tax

Despite unease over Trump’s section 301 tariff disputes between the United States and China, Charter Brokerage is still successfully finding drawback refunds for their clients. Though some companies are hesitant to invest in an overall environment of uncertainty, Charter is ever aware of changing trade policies and still taking advantage of drawback opportunities. The Quarterly Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) is one example of how Charter uses their expertise in drawback procedure to stay ahead of other providers. The HMT is designed to pay for harbor maintenance and development. Also known as the Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF), it is a quarterly assessment on imports, domestic shipments, Foreign Trade Zone admissions (FTZ), and even passengers. Though other drawback service experts have found barriers with claiming drawback on HMT, Charter has been able to leverage their extensive knowledge of duty drawback laws and the industry to allow their clients to claim these additional refunds.

Proactive Steps to Guide You Through the Trade Wars

The Trade Wars have been on everyone’s mind ever since President Trump said that a 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of goods would go into effect on Sept 1. The constant discussion of tariffs, changing trade policy and an overall environment of uncertainty are leading many companies to take a “wait and see” approach to investment and expansion. Uncertainty over tariff amounts, origin, timing and related retaliation persists. As a result, many companies are hesitant to commit to large investments or expansion plans unless they can be certain they’ll see a long-term payoff. Whether these companies need to change their supply chain strategy, find alternative sourcing or re-source materials, they don’t feel confident implementing these initiatives without more evidence of stability in trade policy.

Chinese Tariff Update

With the U.S. China Trade War escalating, increased tariffs on imports and exports are affecting much more than just petroleum and steel. After determining that China was not fulfilling their end of the initial Section 301 agreement and using unfair trade practices, President Trump has increased tariffs for List III Chinese products from 10% to 25%, according to the Federal Register Notice (FRN) published May 9, 2019.

The Petroleum Industry’s Sticky Situation: Section 232 Steel and Aluminum tariffs, Section 301 Trump tariffs, and the US China Trade War

A U.S. – China trade war was sparked on March 23, 2018, when President Trump imposed worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the interest of “safeguarding national security” and protecting U.S. steel jobs. The Section 232 steel and aluminum tariff increased to 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum. Though the goal is to put American jobs first, the new tariffs may have mixed results for U.S. petroleum and other industries.