AAEI asks Obama to stall 10+2, promote trade
With a domestic stimulus plan focused on government spending now in place, the American Association of Exporters and Importers urged President Barack Obama Wednesday to help stimulate U.S. exports by taking actions that don't involve a penny of taxpayer money.
Leading the trade association's list of requests was an effort to stall the ongoing implementation of the '10+2' security regulation requiring importers and ocean carriers to electronically submit sets of trade data related to ocean shipments in advance of vessel loading overseas. The rule went into effect on Jan. 26 with a one-year flexible enforcement period to allow industry and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to adjust processes to meet the information requirements.
In a letter to Obama, the trade association asked the administration to freeze all pending trade-related regulations issued during the Bush administration until they can be reviewed by Obama administration appointees. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel ordered a halt on regulations in the pipeline, but the Department of Homeland Security quickly issued a statement saying it would not hold up the new information requirements on maritime cargo.
AAEI said that industry is trying to comply with several major import-export regulations (including the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and the Lacey Act on wood products) at the same time, which 'sap corporate resources away from investments which could be used to expand trade and create jobs in the United States.' The trade group asked for the regulatory freeze to remain in place until the economy has recovered sufficiently to allow businesses to implement the rules without hardship.
AAEI also asked Obama to:
' Direct CBP to accelerate the rollout of the Automated Commercial Environment trade processing system and International Trade Data System for streamlined filing of documentation to multiple agencies.
' Push Congress to pass legislation modernizing drawback regulations, which allow companies to obtain a refund of customs duties paid on goods subsequently exported from the United States.
' Streamline export control regulations, as recommended in a new report by the National Academies of Science.
' Complete pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea and Panama.
' Delay enforcement of new regulations that impose new fees on importers and exporters.
' Support passage of a bill that expands the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court for International Trade.
'If the president and the Congress adopt these measures,' Marianne Rowden, AAEI's interim executive and general counsel said in a statement, 'the private sector and our trading partners will respond positively by directing capital where it is needed most — investment in projects that create jobs and increase global trade.' ' Eric Kulisch