• ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
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COMMENTARY: Most important Commerce appointees yet to come

The International Trade Administration and Bureau of Industry and Security impact export compliance officers and supply chain managers most

   The Senate Commerce Committee may have voted this week to confirm Wilbur Ross as the country’s next commerce secretary, but it’s the next level of political appointees within the Commerce Department that will likely have the most impact on corporate compliance officers and supply chain managers.
   Two of the most important agencies under the Commerce umbrella in this regard—the International Trade Administration (ITA) and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)—are still awaiting the names of those who President Trump will nominate to serve as their under and assistant secretaries.
   ITA’s mission is to raise the level of U.S. industry’s competitiveness by promoting trade and investment, and ensuring a level playing field for the country’s trade internationally by enforcing U.S. trade laws and agreements. The agency also leads Commerce’s investigations into alleged dumping and countervailable subsidies violations by overseas companies and countries.
   ITA is currently being led by Kenneth E. Hyatt, acting undersecretary for international trade. Under the Obama administration, he served as the agency’s deputy assistant secretary for services, developing trade policies, initiatives and programs aimed at improving the competitiveness of the U.S. services industry.
   In a nutshell, BIS’s primary goal is to “advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership.”
   With the Jan. 20 departure of Eric Hirschhorn, undersecretary for industry and security, and Kevin Wolf, assistant secretary for export administration, the agency is currently being led by Daniel Hill, deputy undersecretary for industry and security, and Matthew Borman, deputy assistant secretary for export administration.
   These career government officials will remain in charge of their agencies’ operations until Trump’s nominees for these positions are picked and approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, and that could take a while.
   This holding pattern, along with President Trump’s order for federal agencies not to propose any new regulations for the first 100 days of his administration, leaves many—both inside Commerce and within the private sector—frustrated by the political inertia.
   Although the new commerce secretary has stated he wants other countries to “play by our standards of fair trade” and that “malicious trading activities, state-owned enterprises, or subsidized production” are things the United States won’t tolerate, it’s still uncertain what stance the Trump administration and its future Commerce appointees will take regarding dumping and countervailable subsidy or export control violations, as well as regulatory improvements.
   ITA, as well as its counterparts at the International Trade Commission, may find itself inundated with even more antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, especially if the Trump administration incites domestic industries, such as steel and chemicals manufacturing, to petition them.
   And BIS, for example, is still in the process of facilitating an initiative started by the Obama administration in 2010 to update the nation’s export control regime. Much work was completed by the end of 2016, such as transitioning many controlled items off the State Department’s U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List, but the goal of creating a single export licensing agency is still unfinished. Meeting these next objectives for the export reform initiative will largely depend of the Trump administration’s political will and the gravitas of its appointees.

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