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January 2 2023

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Page 76 of 131

Januar y 2, 2023 | Journal of Commerce 75 EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY 2023 ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK Government Waterways Council, Inc. Tracy Zea President & CEO In mid- October, the Senate Armed Services Com- mittee filed a manager's amendment to the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that includes the Senate version of H.R. 7776, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, a key legislative vehicle for the inland waterways industry. WCI has advocated for a 75 percent general revenue/25 percent Inland Water - ways Trust Fund (IWTF) construction cost-share adjustment to be included in a final WRDA 2022 bill. This adjustment would provide additional significant investment in event for the company. New state and federal regulations, cou- pled with spiraling inflation and post-pandemic work/life remote expectations, have made this a Sisy- phean struggle. Including salary ranges on job postings has become a require- ment and is regularly monitored by employees. Candidates can see offers with 30 to 50 percent bumps, lead- ing to uprisings and mutinies from current employees. Can you pay new hires higher salaries than their man- agers? It's called wage compression. Therefore, internal salary adjust- ments are made to retain employees and keep them motivated. Compa- nies will be raising prices to pay for all of this. Negotiating a reasonable com- pensation package that won't break the company bank will take center stage. Fully remote options will slowly pull back to a three-in-office, two-at-home schedule. Negotiate wisely. entering the market in 2023 is not a remedy and has the exact opposite effect. If history has shown us any - thing, it is that it is unprofitable to do business in an overcapacity mar- ketplace. The result will be carriers losing money on trades that were once profitable, forcing cutbacks on plans for any enhancements before they even begin. The money gained in the last few years is better put to use strengthening our industry for the next several decades. More capacity is not the answer. Tyler Search Consultants William Conroy Executive Director Disruptive business headwinds such as trade regulations, customs issues, sanc - tions, supply chain slowdowns, and freight costs will be minor distractions in 2023. The biggest tsunami of this genera- tion has commenced and is paralyzing businesses: wage infla- tion. The single largest cost for companies is compensation. Wages have already exploded, and salaries will soon become hypersonic, but not for everyone. Savvy profession- als who shop their expertise similarly to a sports free agent will enjoy a healthy salary increase that can affect their standard of living. Meanwhile, long-term company loyalists will wrestle with their bosses at review time. Firms are in an untenable position to control this wage bulge — a perfect storm of obstacles has twisted the playing field to the candidate enormously. Most profes - sional segments of the global trade community are enjoying nearly 100 percent employment, yet there are thousands of jobs advertised daily and most companies can't get a quality nibble. Jobs remain open for months, and scheduling an interview with a potential good fit has become a highly anticipated US Council for International Business Brian Lowry Senior VP — Innovation, Regulation, and Trade The lingering impacts of the pandemic on supply chains, including shipping, shortages, and rapid inflation, support US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) expanding their signature sup - ply chain security program to address certain critical economic security issues. The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), developed in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, established a shared responsi - bility between trade and government to maintain the processes, systems, and skills required to secure the US import supply chain from security threats. Internationally, the US championed creation of the World Customs Organization's (WCO) SAFE Framework and the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program based on CTPAT. AEO programs pro - mote internationally recognized standards aimed at both securing supply chains and facilitating legitimate low-risk trade. CBP's cur- rent effort to expand CTPAT could unnecessarily extend AEO standards, deter industry participation, and undermine the effectiveness of the program. CBP's new CTPAT minimum security criteria to address forced labor and potential use of the program to address environmental provisions in trade agreements pose challenges in areas which lack established global standards. It is imperative that as pro - gram expansions are considered, these new requirements are implemented in a way that protects the US economy without undermining customs and business operational efficiency. Companies will continue to invest and participate in the full scope of CTPAT programs, provided there are tangible trade facilitation benefits that meaningfully improve oper - ational efficiency. Critical to the success of CTPAT expansion and the intended laudable goals is that these voluntary programs remain flexible and commercially relevant. As CTPAT marks its 20th anniversary, it is time to return to the core of the program — highly secure and compliant supply chains tied to tangible, meaningful trade facilitation benefits. "Investment in America's foundational infrastructure includes inland waterways' locks and dams." ◀ ◀ "Enhancements that can support and improve supply chain solutions are sorely needed and have not been considered for many years." Joe Saggese ◀ "A perfect storm of obstacles has twisted the playing field to the candidate" William Conroy ▶ "It is imperative that as program expansions are considered, these new requirements are implemented in a way that protects the US economy without undermining customs and business operational efficiency." Brian Lowry

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