WJ Byrnes banner

Global Partner for Personalized Logistics Services

TradeInFocus   Our compilation of news to keep you in focus on key trade matters

US Coalition for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Welcomes ITC Report Release
United States Chamber of Commerce
Washington DC-The US Coalition for TPP issued the following statement on the release of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) report, reiterating the business community's support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement:

"The release of the ITC report is an important step forward in assessing the benefits of the TPP and, at first glance, reaffirms our view that TPP is in our national economic interest while also meeting a congressional requirement under the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority legislation. We look forward to giving the report a full review, but note the ITC's heavy focus on the tariff provisions of the TPP in their economic modeling.

While tariff cuts are important, there are significant TPP provisions across 27 chapters that will raise standards and set new rules to enhance the access and competitiveness of US industries in a part of the world where we have been losing ground. As our Coalition members have stated, for American manufacturers, technology companies, farmers, ranchers, and service providers, the TPP opens new doors to compete on a more-level playing field in fast-growing markets around the Pacific Rim.

The agreement eliminates and reduces significant foreign barriers and includes new, enforceable provisions to expand the rule of law, transparency, and fairness in 11 TPP countries. It will enhance economic growth and create new opportunities for American farmers, workers, and businesses.

"We live in an increasingly interconnected world, one where international trade will only become more important to the prosperity and success of American farmers, workers, and businesses in the coming decades. The TPP offers a chance to modernize and improve the rules of trade in the 21st Century, and the United States is uniquely positioned to help lead in this effort. We encourage Congress to approve the agreement this year."


Details: USTR NEWS
www.ustr.gov Washington, D.C. 20508 202-395-3230

What They're Saying: USITC Report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
"The ITC report provides another strong argument for why TPP should be passed this year. It is part of a growing body of evidence that shows that TPP will benefit our economy at home and allow the U.S. to help set the rules of the road for trade in the Asia Pacific."- U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman
This week, the U.S. International Trade Commission released a report on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) providing economic projections of the agreement, and highlighting the benefits it will bring to farmers, manufacturers, tech entrepreneurs, and workers throughout the American economy. Following the report's release, a diverse group of businesses and industry groups have shared their support of the report's findings, and the benefits the TPP will bring American workers and businesses upon implementation. Here's a look at what they're saying:
Association Statements
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Executive Vice President, Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant
Business Roundtable, Chair of International Engagement Committee Tom Linebarger
Emergency Committee for American Trade, President Calman J. Cohen
U.S. Coalition for TPP
National Foreign Trade Council, President Rufus Yerxa
Washington Council on International Trade, President Eric Schinfeld
Motion Picture Association of America, Chairman Chris Dodd
Semiconductor Industry Association
American Chemistry Council, President and CEO Cal Dooley
Outdoor Industry Association
Personal Care Products Council
Agriculture Statements
National Cattlemen?s Beef Association, President Tracey Brunner
North American Meat Institute, President and CEO Barry Carpenter
American Farm Bureau Federation
National Potato Council, Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling
National Pork Producers Council, President John Weber
National Corn Growers Association, President Chip Bowling
Western Growers Association, President and CEO Tom Nassif
Sweetener Users Association
Wine Institute, President and CEO Bobby Koch
Apparel Statements
Retail Industry Leaders Association, Vice President for International Trade Hun Quach
Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, President Matt Priest
American Apparel & Footwear Association, President and CEO Rick Helfenbein
Tech Statements
Technology CEO Council, Executive Director Bruce Mehlman
Telecommunications Industry Association, CEO Scott Belcher
TechNet, President and CEO Linda Moore
Information Technology Industry Council, VP for Government Affairs Vince Jesaitis
Entertainment Software Association, Senior Vice President Stanley Pierre-Louis
IBM, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Christopher A. Padilla
AT&T, Executive Vice President of Federal Relations Tim McKone
Software & Information Industry Association, VP Public Policy Mark MacCarthy
Consumer Technology Association, President and CEO Gary Shapiro

SC Ports Authority Outlines Container Weighing Policy
Cargo Business Newswire - May 10, 2016
Last week the US Coast Guard announced its approval for US ports to verify the weight of containers on behalf of the shipper to comply with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations that are effective July 1, and the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has said it will provide this weight to the shipper or exporter. "It has been our position all along that we have employed a best practice in safely loading ships in our port for the last 20 years due to our weighing of all export containers," said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. "We applaud the Coast Guard for recognizing this in its recent Declaration of Equivalency to the International Maritime Organization on the SOLAS regulations."

All scales used to weigh export containers at SCPA's North Charleston and Wando Welch terminals will be certified annually by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the competent certification authority in the State of South Carolina. The port's current scales were certified in January, 2016.

Once a timely request from an export shipper is received, the port says it will provide the shipper the estimated gross weight of the container and cargo derived in the following way:
Gross weight of tractor (including estimate of fuel weight), container, chassis and cargo will be determined by weighing the entire unit on the scale.

Deduction will be made for weight of tractor and fuel as provided by the truck driver to the interchange clerk along with the posted tare weight of the chassis. After these deductions, the gross weight of the container and cargo will be provided to the shipper. This is the same weight that will be provided directly to the shipping line.

While this approach conforms with the methodology outlined by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee in its "Guidelines Regarding the Verified Gross Mass of a Container Carrying Cargo" published June 9, 2014, in providing this weight, SCPA does not certify its accuracy. Rather, it makes its best efforts to ensure the provision of an accurate weight using the methodology above.

It is the clear responsibility of the shipper to provide the required weight certification to the shipping line as specified in the SOLAS regulations. The export shipper shall pay a fee of $25 per container weighed. Billing and payment arrangements must be made prior to the provision of such services.

The methodology for providing this weighing service is specifically detailed below.
SCPA will utilize the following YMS Weighing Process for Loaded Export Containers:
The Motor Carrier enters the perimeter security gate.
The Motor Carrier arrives at the Inbound Interchange.
The Tractor, Chassis, Container (and contents), and any accessories (i.e. genset) are weighed to establish the gross weight. The computer system, automatically subtracts the tare weight of the container, chassis, and then the estimated weight of the genset and tractor. At that this point, the estimated cargo weight is calculated.

Depending of the Ocean Carriers' request, SCPA will EDI either the content weight or the gross weight of the loaded container. SCPA will share the requested weights with the stevedores electronic Container Gross Weight.


DrayQ Trucking app Goes Live at Port of Oakland
Cargo Business Techwire - May 20, 2016
The Port of Oakland is now using an app designed to help truckers cope with busy cargo gates at the shipping hub, the port said Wednesday. "This industry is the oldest thing on earth, and we always have to find brand new things to make it work," said Michael Zampa, a spokesman for the Port of Oakland. The developer of the free DrayQ app, Virginia-based Leidos, has hired people to hand out fliers to truck drivers at the East Bay port. About 150 people have signed up for the app in the first few days.

"This is the first port in the country to use this technology," Zampa said. The app is available on the Google Play store for Android phones and the Apple store for the iPhone, the port said. "There's no more guesswork for truckers picking up or delivering cargo in Oakland," said John Driscoll, the port's maritime director. "Now they can plan their days with real-time information." The port has been opening gates at night and on weekends to help unclog chronic backlogs of cargo being delivered or picked up by truckers.

DrayQ tells truck drivers how long it takes to enter terminal gates and calculates how long drivers must wait to complete transactions. The times for gate waits and transactions that appear on mobile phone screens are akin to the sign boards on freeways that tell people how long it will take to get to a downtown area, airport or city. The new technology could provide truckers and dispatchers with a precise measure of how long a terminal transaction takes. And if it's too long, drivers can plan around slow periods.

Cargo owners and terminal operators will also be able to compile data to determine if container shipments are being processed efficiently. They can use the data to alter operations. The app uses Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi technologies to measure truckers' progress through the East Bay cargo hub. "The technology gets a ping from every cell phone for a vehicle that is going through the port," Zampa said. "The display is very much like the freeway signs that show how long to get to a destination."


The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 included a provision for increasing the de minimis value, that is the value at which no Customs entry is required, from $200 to $800. These low value clearances are known by Customs and the Trade as a "Section 321". It is not a Customs entry, there is no entry number and no electronic filing. Additionally, there are no duties or processing fees.

While no duty and no fees may seem attractive to an importer its application and value is fairly limited. Its real effect will be felt by couriers, like UPS or FedEx, and by individuals seeking to clear their own personal low value shipments. Still unclear is the viability of doing a "Section" for goods regulated by another government agency, known as PGAs (Participating Government Agency).

For our regular import customers the potential small savings is offset by the fact that a Section 321 clearance is a non-electronic, paper only process. Along with the increase cost for messaging documents back and forth to Customs is the time involved in the processing. Most Sections will take 24-48 hours for Customs to process a paper clearance versus just minutes for an electronic one.

While increasing the de minimis to $800 is a sensible adjustment for inflation its effect on our day to day business will be minor.

tradeinfocus is a summary of news and events on the trade policy front for clients, trade & legislative colleagues, and professional friends of W.J. Byrnes & Co.