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January 2 2023

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76 Journal of Commerce | J anuar y 2, 2023 EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK 2023 Government — whether ocean carriers, terminals, or shippers. Rather, regulators need to focus on the wider US ocean trans - portation system and what it needs to be productive for the long term. The system needs regulations that do two things: • Recognize that the ocean com - ponent of the system is only as strong as the landside system that receives and delivers US imports and collects and transports US exports to the ports. • Provide ocean carriers with fairness and legal certainty, encouraging investment and innovative service. In practice, this means that the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) needs to be the "adult in the room" that looks realistically at where the actual bottlenecks are, focuses on policy instead of politics, and recognizes that this is a global industry that operationally and commercially functions on a round- trip basis. To work for anyone, the system must work for everyone. The FMC needs to think — and regulate — on a system-wide basis and with a view to the long-term health of the transpor - tation system. Attempting to favor one set of shippers at the expense of other shippers, or pretending to put everyone at the front of the line, is self-defeating. Today in particular, the FMC must remain above political rhetoric and ensure that it makes fact-based decisions consistent with the law that Congress actually passed and based on careful analysis of mar - ket developments. Making productive regulations is not about counting how many entities are for or against a course of action. The FMC must do its own policy and economic analysis and articulate clear reasons for the choices it makes. Without such an approach, we are left with political responses, not solutions. That benefits nobody, least of all the people that Congress has said it wants to help. JOC for barge transportation at the end of 2022. The inland waterways are cru- cial to the nation's supply chain and offer a great benefit to American farmers who help to feed the world, shippers, manufacturers, steel and energy producers, agribusinesses, constructors, towboat operators, and consumers. Investment in America's foundational infrastructure includes inland waterways' locks and dams. As funds from the IIJA bill continue to roll out, jobs are cre - ated and sustained, the US balance of trade in the agriculture sector is strengthened, critical energy products keep the lights on, and the nation's modernized inland water- ways transportation system remains world-class. World Shipping Council John Butler President & CEO To fulfill their responsi- bilities, regulators cannot think about one "industry" or party alone World Customs Organization (WCO) Dr. Kunio Mikuriya Secretary General Although global supply chains are recovering as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we neverthe - less face major challenges in 2022 following the war in Ukraine. These challenges include high inflation rates worldwide, food shortages, and the energy crisis that may persist into the coming year and could have a long- term impact on various global supply chain stakeholders. Against this backdrop, gov - ernments are making efforts to reinvigorate global supply chains. Customs administrations around the world are playing a key role to that end. Among the endeavors by the international cus- toms community, supported by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in its capacity as the global center of customs expertise, the following issues are worth mentioning: • Building an international customs data ecosystem: The WCO has been focusing on how best to collect and analyze data, thereby helping its members improve their risk management and offer evidence-based advice to governments and business. To scale up digi - tal transformation, the WCO adopted a data strategy to facilitate data sharing; create communities of prac- titioners among data analysts; and assist members in embracing a data culture. As a result, the WCO aims to build a customs data ecosystem, connecting all stakeholders. • Implementing the WCO e-commerce package: Faced with the exponential growth of e-commerce, the WCO has developed the Cross-border E-commerce Framework of Standards (FoS) to enable customs to facilitate and secure e-commerce supply chains. The central element is ensuring timely access to accurate data from e-commerce actors to help customs manage risks in the revenue, health, safety, and security domains. Mem - bers are conducting pilot projects on FoS implementation, and the out- comes thereof are reflected through regular updates of the Compendium of Case Studies on E-Commerce. • Exploring "green customs": The WCO is studying the role that can be played by customs in reducing the carbon footprint of trade, controlling the movement of waste and other environmentally hazardous goods, and contributing to the transition to a circular economy. To this effect, it has launched a series of initiatives, including research on the circular economy and the organization of the Green Customs Global Conference and the Symposia on "Visualising a Greener Harmonized System (HS)," to which business representatives and other stakehold - ers are invited. These issues, which have been brought into sharper focus by the pandemic, will continue to increase in importance and, now more than ever, will require close cooperation with all supply chain stake- holders in the year ahead. Coming together to forge strong customs–business partnerships, as evidenced during the pandemic, will be critical in ensuring mutu- ally beneficial outcomes. "Governments are making efforts to reinvigorate global supply chains. Customs administrations around the world are playing a key role to that end." the construction and major rehabili- tation of the nation's lock and dam infrastructure. At time of writing (Nov. 4, 2022), we await a vote on NDAA/WRDA 2022 and the outcome of the cost-share proposal. With the Infrastructure Invest- ment and Jobs Act (IIJA) now law, $2.5 billion has been allocated to inland waterways infrastructure and work continues on priority navigation projects across the sys- tem. IIJA's $4 billion provided to the US Army Corps of Engineers' Oper- ations and Maintenance account proved vital for dredging, as low- water conditions on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers caused disruption "To work for anyone, the system must work for everyone."

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