2023 National Export Strategy Reveals SME Challenges

The Department of Commerce recently released the 2023 National Export Strategy, a report to Congress that looks at U.S. trade promotion priorities. The report shows that small and medium enterprise (SME) exporters were hit particularly hard by the pandemic, falling in number by 5.8% in 2021. The report says a study by the Small Business Administration (SBA) indicates the number of current small business exporters is about half of what the market size could be. “U.S. small businesses do not engage in trade at the same rate as their peers from other large economies,” the report says. Read the 2023 National Export Strategy.

CBP Provides Updates on Forced Labor, De Minimis FAQs

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided updates this week on Forced Labor enforcement statistics and questions regarding de minimis shipments. CBP says it stopped 405 shipments last month valued at more than $239 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor. CBP also published an FAQ webpage this week based on questions it received from the agency’s webinar on de minimis. Under de minimis, imports currently are permitted entry without the payment of duty or filing of a formal customs entry if the value if under $800. See the CBP updates on Forced Labor statistics and de minimis.

ILWU Resumes Port Strikes in British Columbia

Port worker strikes resumed today at both the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert, which could worsen supply-chain disruptions and add to inflation worries. Last night, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) rejected a proposed four-year wage agreement with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA), citing concerns over job protection and cost-of-living issues. Canada’s Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan announced that the government is considering options to resolve the dispute. Read ILWU’s statement and BCMEA’s statement.