The Canadian government regulates the import of all wooden products and wood-containing products into Canada. And, because these items can carry and introduce harmful pests, their import is tightly controlled.
What’s going on?
U.S. President Donald Trump has released a draft letter to Congress outlining the administration’s goals for a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Trump has been talking about renegotiating the decades-old agreement since his pre-election campaigning days. Then – as now – the particulars of the changes he’s after are unclear, but this letter gives the most detail to date as to what a renegotiated NAFTA may encompass.
If you’ve been reading our blogs over the past year, you might have caught our previous posts on this topic – for example, this one from March 2016 on customs negligence, and this more recent one on the “Mod Act” and non-compliance penalties.
But if you’re importing into the U.S., this is important stuff – and it can be a bit confusing – even for a seasoned importer!
In this blog, we’ll aim to clarify what you need to know and provide some advice for keeping on top of your company’s importation requirements.
We hear concerns from importers and exporters every day. Concerns such as…
"My carrier had to wait at the border, causing delays for not just my shipment but all the shipments on the truck."
"My air shipment arrived and was not accepted by CBSA so it didn’t clear until the next day. I might as well have sent it by truck!"
"I didn’t realize another government agency was involved that required additional paperwork at the border. Now I’m behind in getting product to my customers."
February 2017 update
We published a blog on this same topic just a few months ago (Change is in the air) and thought we should provide a few updates on developments that have occurred since. With a new U.S. administration in place, there are bound to be ongoing effects to the import/export community so check back for information on how any upcoming changes will affect your import activities.
Donald Trump’s administration is talking about introducing a 20% “border tax” on imports to the U.S. to help pay for the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
At this point, the tax is theoretical but apparently would apply to imports from countries with whom the U.S. has a trade deficit. If this holds true, imports from Canada will not be subject to the tax – the U.S. ran a trade surplus of almost US$12 billion with Canada in 2015.
New leader, new direction
With every new administration come new policies, and the recently-anointed President Trump’s government is no exception. And, although Trump has been outspoken about some of his planned changes, it’s still not clear if or when they will become reality.
Trump doesn’t like NAFTA
During the debates ahead of the U.S. election, Mr. Trump called NAFTA “the worst trade deal … ever signed in this country,” and has promised to take action on the agreement early on in his tenure as president.
Trump has repeatedly blamed NAFTA for taking U.S. manufacturing jobs and has indicated he may introduce border taxes on large auto companies, as one example, who continue to produce goods in Mexico.
Trump is now talking about either renegotiating the deal or withdrawing U.S. participation – recognizing the need to observe a legally-required 90-day consultation period that would have to precede a U.S. exit.
The Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
February 2017 update
We published an article about this agreement between Canada and the European Union back in November, shortly after it was signed. See our previous blog on CETA for a refresher.
The latest development is that, as anticipated, the European Parliament has now approved the deal.
Are you wondering how the political changes underway in the U.S. will affect your cross-border trade? If you are concerned that you may not continue to enjoy smoothborder crossings… We don’t blame you!
Given the uncertain direction of U.S. international trade – but knowing that things are not likely to get easier for U.S. trading partners – now is an excellent time to do what you can to solidify your position and reputation as a solid and trusted trade partner.