But those changes are just for openers; President-Elect Trump has made many-more campaign promises that will impact or otherwise affect the industry we toil in. Some of the promises made might even be considered “protectionist”. As many have said, “Buckle up, it could be a wild ride!” Among some of President-Elect Trump’s more notable promises are:
· Withdraw from or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)
· Naming China as a “currency manipulator”
· Imposition of higher tariffs on certain countries
· An augmented border force (in addition to a wall)
Depending on your business and its reliance on trade, any of the above-named initiatives have the potential to be significantly disruptive and negatively impact global trade. Of course, it’s impossible to predict the future with much accuracy. While President-Elect Trump may not be successful in delivering all his campaign promises; it’s likely that he will make good on some.
The New Year will also bring a change in CBP leadership; the CBP Commissioner is one of the 4,000 appointments that President-Elect Trump will soon make. As he exits, the incumbent CBP Commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske can take stock of his accomplishments during his tenure leading the 60,000-employee agency. The Commissioner was sworn in on March 14, 2014; he will presumably leave office on January 20th unless invited by the incoming Administration to remain. Deputy CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will become Acting CBP Commissioner until a successor is nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate.
So, as we head into the New Year; the fundamental question for Trade Compliance Professionals becomes, “How will the aforementioned changes affect your business in 2017 and the years ahead?” May I suggest that companies who rely heavily on global trade should undertake a period of introspection and contemplate just how some of the proposed initiatives, if enacted or repealed, would impact your company’s ability to conduct business and survive. In fact, a business continuity table-top exercise or two may also be warranted. The first few days of the New Year makes the perfect time to pause and consider the future. We do have time though, so it’s not like we need to be Chicken Little. Before any of the proposed changes can be made they will need to be vetted, debated, and legislated or repealed…that process takes time.
So, for now, we suggest that our clients pause to ponder just how your business might be impacted if one or more of these initiatives comes to fruition. After that, stay tuned and maintain a heightened state of awareness in the coming months. As time permits you might also consider discussing this with peers and colleagues and doing a little brainstorming along the way. Good luck in the year of challenges ahead and if Trade Innovations can assist you with any endeavors or projects please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quotation at email@example.com.
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