Trade Policy Changes: What You Need to Know

It’s time to make sense of tariffs. With the volume of trade policy changes hitting record levels, it can be challenging to cut through the noise. It’s critical to monitor what tariffs affect which products and when. 

We have developed an infographic that covers many tariff actions and counter-actions to date in an easy-to-understand format. The piece illustrates the large volume of tariff-related announcements this year in a color-coded format, highlights the actual go-live dates, and underscores the critical need to incorporate a solution that can monitor change.

Download the infographic, “2018 Tariff Timeline: 6 Months of Change”

Of the 17 announcements and actions this year included in the graphic, only 6 were actual implementations including: 

  • 22 January 2018
    The U.S. imposed “safeguard” tariffs on solar panels and washing machines from all sources (washers from Canada are exempt) under Section 201 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974.
  • 23 March 2018
    The U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum went into effect. Temporarily exempted were Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and the EU.  
  • 5 April 2018
    China imposed 15% duties on 120 U.S. exports and 25% duties on select pork products and aluminum scrap in response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.
  • 1 June 2018
    The U.S. imposed Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU, as exemptions expire.
  • 5 June 2018
    Mexico responded to steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing duties on $3 billion worth of select U.S. pork, steel, cheese and other goods. 
  • 22 June 2018
    The EU imposed tariffs on U.S. exports valued at $3.2 billion, including bourbon, orange juice, peanut butter and denim. 

View the infographic,  “2018 Tariff Timeline: 6 Months of Change” 

The Impact of Tariffs & Trade Policy Changes at a Practical Level

From a compliance perspective, systems or processes are required to demonstrate reasonable care. This means, for example, that Harmonized System (HS) classification must be accurate and verifiable. From an operational standpoint, businesses must also update Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and other platforms with new tariff rates.   

On the sourcing side, tariff changes may require shifts in production and supply chain strategies. Businesses may need to diversify suppliers, track market trends in commodities and production inputs, monitor cross-border supplier relationships, and pinpoint hot beds of alternative production. 

With the right intelligence in place, compliance, sourcing and operations can be made more nimble. Best-in-class technology can help companies identify opportunities for growth, boost productivity, enable compliance, refine sourcing strategies, and more. It all starts with accurate, up-to-date global trade data.

How Descartes Can Help

Descartes can help business thrive amid complex and changing trade policy shifts. Our solutions provide world-class business intelligence from accurate import and export information; monitor and consolidate duty, tax, and tariff changes; and reduce the risk of transacting with denied, sanctioned, or restricted parties.  

We offer a broad array of options to keep pace with trade policy changes; manage item compliance down to the SKU, part or item level; fuel ERP and Global Trade Management (GTM) systems with trade content; and more. With a sizable database of over 6-million reference documents, and the world’s largest searchable trade database, covering the global commerce of 230 markets across 5 continents, Descartes helps to unite businesses with the broadest range of trade information available. 

Ask us how Descartes Global Trade Content solutions can help you succeed. 

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Written by Joely Callaway

Independent Consultant