MEMO TO CLIENTS ISSUE 23-002 – February 21, 2023

Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit Registration Opens February 22nd

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will open the registration to its 2023 Trade Facilitation Cargo Summit on February 22nd, 2023, at 12:00 PM Eastern time. The Summit will be held in Boston from April 17th to April 19th.  The registration information and the hotel location will be published on February 22nd before the registration opens and will be found here.

We will send the information out once it is made available by CBP.

Two Dozen Countries Urge the U.S. to Reinstate GSP

Ambassadors and diplomatic leaders from over two dozen countries got together at the Embassy of Argentina to discuss trade with the United States, most specifically the renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) by the United States. They want Congress to know that they have lost export sales from the U.S. and are now looking to trade with China to try to make up for some of the losses.

After the meeting at the Argentine Embassy, they all signed a letter to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and to Representative Jason Smith (R-MO), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, urging swift action on renewal.  Juan Manuel Cortelletti, the Minister at the Argentine Embassy, stated that they wanted to deliver a strong message about how important GSP is to their countries.

Senate Finance ranking member Mike Crapo (R-ID) said that he hopes that GSP could be renewed this year.  He commented that the nations surrounding China in the Indo-Pacific area are eager for the U.S. to pass GSP because they want to be our trading partners. We will continue to watch as legislation develops.  

FMC Judge Ruling on Container Chassis Will Help Container Flow

A ruling by FMC Judge Erin Wirth possibly a boon to cargo owners and trucker/drayage companies. There has been a dispute over demands by some carriers that only specific chassis’ can be used for moving their containers. This has made it difficult for truckers to lease chassis and use it for multiple hauls between different terminals. They currently need to take the time to turn in one chassis and get a different one from a chassis pool to pick up at a different terminal.

Judge Worth ruled that in a merchant haulage agreement, the carriers are responsible for port-to-port transportation while the beneficial cargo owner is responsible for inland transportation. This will allow beneficial cargo owners the flexibility on the choice of the chassis pools and the chassis to be used on the inland move. This decision was limited to the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Savannah, and the rail hubs in Chicago and Memphis. It is unlikely that the ruling will go into effect immediately as the decision will likely be appealed, but it is a good first step in fixing an unfair trade practice.