The Road Ahead for AAEI in 2024

Let us advance ahead together,
Making Global Trade Happen

From AAEI's President and CEO

Eugene Laney

Eugene Laney, AAEI President & CEO:

There is no science to creating an organization that meets the advocacy, education, and networking needs of its members. For more than 100 years, AAEI has taken on this challenge amid increasing scrutiny over what is imported and where our members conduct business globally.

In the coming months, AAEI will be launching several programs and services that will help our members become well suited for the next set of challenges. 

AAEI’s annual conference will be in Fort Lauderdale and promises to “Forge a New Trade Renaissance.” AAEI’s new trade compliance courses, Importing 201 and Exporting 201, will reshape how trade compliance executives grow their knowledge base while effectively improving their company’s compliance.

One of AAEI’s best member benefits is networking. This year we will see increasing opportunities to leverage AAEI’s trade community through robust issue-based committees and working groups, industry-leading webinars, and local interactive opportunities.

There is a lot to look forward to at AAEI and we are thrilled to help you dominate your days and become smarter and better trade compliance executives.

From AAEI Thought Leaders

Lee Sandler

Lee Sandler, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.:

Trade policy and regulation in 2024 will increasingly be challenged by hostile rhetoric to both imports and exports. Republicans and Democrats will compete to be the most protectionist, the most anti-trade-with China, the most restrictive of US technology exports, the most committed to the enforcement of trade laws (and the least focused on trade facilitation). The pronouncements on these issues will all be magnified and infused with emotion by Presidential election campaigns (not-withstanding the historic discovery by politicians, consumers and the press during the pandemic that there is something called a “supply chain” that is mysterious and important but unmanageable).

However, this rhetoric will not significantly change the trade issues already faced today: protectionist trade rhetoric will not be central to the 2024 political debates and voter decision-making, the expiring Congress is not likely to adopt dramatically consequential trade legislation (if only because neither party will want to allow the other to take credit for it) and international trade will continue to grow. In this mixed year of rhetoric and reality, someone during and after the elections needs to carry the message about the benefits of lawful and healthy two-way trade linked to meaningful enforcement that doesn’t override or devastate those benefits.  This is the 2024 challenge for AAEI and its experienced professional members.

More Views from AAEI Thought Leaders

Navigating the 2024 trade landscape will demand adaptability amid a further shift away from multilateralism. Tenuous and deteriorating relations with Russia and China will require creative and nuanced supply chain and trade compliance strategies. Increased enforcement will emphasize the critical importance of a robust compliance framework. To succeed, already lean trade compliance teams will optimize resources through cross-functional collaboration, risk management, and innovative digital solutions. Leading trade practitioners will be deeply engaged in their company’s ESG strategy. Customs modernization may incrementally advance, but it still won’t be state-of-art. Trade policy will likely have the largest impact on a Presidential election in our lifetimes. Success for the trade professional lies in strategic agility, innovation, and advancing trade compliance's integral role in shaping sustainable international business practices.
Steve Johnsen
Bayer International Trade Services Corporation
The election is likely to have impact on U.S. trade policy and relations with global trading partners. This includes U.S. trade relations with China, where the election outcome could potentially lead to a deterioration of trade relations. Additionally, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is intensifying efforts against forced labor by expanding staffing dedicated to this issue. The initiation of various supply chain mapping programs, which the CBP has recently endorsed, further contributes to the heightened focus on addressing forced labor activities.
Rich Salamone
BASF Corporation
There are many challenges in 2024 as everyone seems to have agendas to push, but without agreement on a budget from Congress beyond March, I’m not sure how much of the agenda comes to fruition. For something regarding career advice, we have seen for our own company that when you find someone who is a good fit for your company, even if the timing may not seem right, you should find a spot for them. We have opportunities to train a couple of new folks and have found roles for them where we didn’t think they might be available. While there may be more work in training someone from the ground up, the right people make all the difference!
Dave Corn
C.J. Holt & Co., Inc.
It’s all about supply chain visibility. This is the key to responding for current and upcoming mandates for Forced Labor, Chinese components (Xinjiang etc.), Carbon emissions (related to potential border adjustments), Lacey Act compliance and future deforestation prevention laws. All of these will need to be addressed by understanding supply chains.
Ned Steiner
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.