New Trade Policies and Your Business: Assess, Plan, and Advocate

Information derived from: Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade  |  February 07, 2017

Global trade policy is undergoing seismic changes with President Trump vowing to hike import tariffs, renegotiate NAFTA, and reevaluate all the United States’ free trade agreements. Congress is moving toward a border adjustment tax, raising the cost of goods sourced abroad. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, throwing the future of the 28-member free trade bloc into question. An emboldened China is accelerating efforts to create a pan-Asian free trade area.

Companies need to assess how these actions may impact current and future operations, plan for contingencies, and advocate their positions as necessary to government officials. A three-part solution offered by Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg and Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services Inc. can assist your business in meeting these challenges.

Assess: Risk Analysis

Understanding how different scenarios might affect your company’s operations is critical. We provide that through a review of your import/export data, bills of material, sourcing, and cost information. As policy changes begin to take shape, we will be able to evaluate their impact on everything from specific product lines to all imports.

Plan: Respond to Change – Contingency Planning

It’s important to formulate plans for responding to specific developments. The loss of free trade agreement preferences, changes in rules of origin, punitive tariffs on imports from Mexico and China, and border adjustment taxes are already under active consideration, and other measures could soon follow. Using your data and our analyses we will help you create contingency plans to make sure you are prepared to act if necessary. As policy changes become more detailed we will identify increasingly specific risks to your business and ways to mitigate those risks; e.g., changing your sourcing strategy or your manufacturing footprint.

: Affect Change

To communicate your interests in the policymaking process you may want to meet with decision makers in the U.S. Congress and administration as well as in other countries, including our NAFTA partners. We will assist in preparation for such meetings. With our more than 25 years’ experience advising countries, companies, associations, and individuals on the (re)negotiation of trade agreements we can help you develop positions on policy as well as technical issues like rules of origin, duty drawback, and tracking and tracing.

Stay Informed: Reporting and Analysis

Companies need to keep a close eye on the changes taking place in Washington, D.C., and with our trading partners. Some changes are happening quickly and are unpredictable; others are long-term proposals that may gain more traction in the coming months. Either way, general news outlets and pundits cannot match the level of granularity and analysis that our trade and government relations experts can provide.

For more information, contact Tom Travis at