On December 31, 2020, the “Phase I Implementation” of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came to an end, marking the end of the “self-imposed” restraint from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on enforcing the new USMCA.
Critically, this transition period did not apply to Mexico and Canada.
On December 17, 2020, the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued important advice to the trade community in regard to detention and demurrage charges on containers at US seaports. As US import volumes continue to climb, especially via ocean freight, this recent announcement will be important to fully understand.
The decades-old Customs Modernization Act, or “Mod Act,” was the last significant overhaul of the US Customs regime in recent years. The evolution of international trade in the years since has spurred calls for a new reform package that might find support from the incoming Biden administration.
In an about-face from the intense focus on bilateral trade deals under the Trump Administration, President-elect Biden has said that he intends to focus first on “major investments” in the US before entering any new free trade agreements (FTAs).
The U.S. Government is cracking down on goods from China suspected of being produced with forced labor. Sweeping enforcement actions through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are aimed at both direct imports into the U.S. as well as third countries where illicit transshipment may be occurring.