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Aug.7, 2017

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GOVERNMENT WATCH INTERNATIONAL | WASHINGTON | CUSTOMS | SECURITY | REGULATION 30 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE AUGUST 7.2017 THE US ADMINISTRATION under President Trump may have generated shockwaves elsewhere, but little has changed when it comes to Customs cargo clearance. The only impacts on US Customs and Border Protection in Trump's first six months have been the debacle of the executive order on immigration, and the appointment of Kevin McAleenan as Cus- toms commissioner, said Susan Kohn Ross, a partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp and frequent commentator in The Journal of Commerce. "Beyond that, we haven't seen any impact," she said. From a cargo perspective, she added, there hasn't been a significant cut in the budget — there hasn't been a Trump budget. There is no sense yet of what the priorities will be at the Department of Homeland Security, other than to protect the US borders. "That's been a standard phrase for a long time but we don't know what that means — or may mean — under the new administration," Ross said. McAleenan's appointment has been universally hailed, in part because so many mid-level positions remain unfilled through- out the Trump administration, and many details of US trade policy remain uncertain, including the outcome of the looming rene- gotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. "My overall impression is that people are still concerned about the trade policy uncer- tainty," said Marianne Rowden, president and CEO of the American Association of Exporters and Importers. It's been a calm- ing factor to have McAleenan, who has been at the agency 20 years, heading up Customs, she said. Ross agreed: "Everybody was thrilled by the idea that we would get somebody at the head of the agency that knew what they were doing. That was a huge plus. And getting somebody of the caliber of Kevin McAleenan was sort of the icing on the cake." The American Apparel and Footwear Association also was pleased with McAleen- MEASURING CUSTOMS' RECIPE Mixing one part trade enforcement, one part facilitation: Agency awaits budget attention and Trump focus "My overall impression is that people are still concerned about the trade policy uncertainty." Donna Burton, CBP. By Alan M. Field

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