MEMO TO CLIENTS ISSUE 23-011 – JULY 06, 2023

ILWU Canada Starts a Strike

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU Canada) issued a 72-hour strike notice to the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) on June 28, 2023, to allow the terminals to prepare. While the contract expired on March 31, 2023, the two sides have been meeting since February of 2023. ILWU Canada began its walkout on July 1, 2023, with the first full day of the strike beginning on July 5, 2023, after weekend holidays. Branches of the ILWU in the United States have stated that they will not work on vessels diverted to U.S. ports from Canadian ports. A statement from the BCMEA can be found  at

Two Bills Would Restrict China Use of de Minimis Exception for Imports

Over 2 million shipments arrive in the United States every day under an exemption from duty on shipments valued under $800.00 with the de minimis exception allowed under Sec 321. With the large numbers, many believe that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cannot enforce several import trade requirements for imports enforced by other government, forced labor requirements, intellectual property rights protection and many other issues.  There are members of Congress working against this rule.  Congressman Earl Blumenauer has co-authored the Import Security and Fairness Act, a bill that would remove articles made in China from eligibility for this exemption and require more data from other countries on shipments using this exemption.

Senator Bill Cassidy has a more complex proposal that would lower the de minimis value. The exception for imports into the U.S. to match a country’s de minimis amount allowed for imports into its commerce. An example would be China that allows only a $7.00 de minimis. There are other proposals being worked on and we will have to watch the progress of them as this legislative session moves forward.

UPS Drivers Vote for Strike of Contract is not Renewed Timely

The contract for warehouse, transportation workers and delivery workers employed by United Parcel Service (UPS) expires on July 31. These workers are part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and negotiations between UPS and Teamsters have reached a critical point. Workers are demanding the best and final offer by Friday, or they will begin one of the largest strikes ever against a single employee. UPS representatives have said they have reached agreements on many non-economic issues such as ending the two-tier wage system and better working conditions as routes heat up.  They have not yet reached agreements on wages, health care, and pensions.  We will follow the negotiations as time runs closer to the contract expiration date.