The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) welcomed President Obama’s announcement today that the U.S. will accelerate implementation of a system to facilitate international trade in goods that meet U.S. safety, efficiency, and environmental standards. The system, known as the “single window”, is administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an arm of the Department of Homeland Security. Through an Executive Order, President Obama set a 2016 target date for full implementation of CBP’s International Trade Data System (ITDS).
“This is a major development for manufacturers who are involved in both importing and exporting,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, a member of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) on Supply Chain Competitiveness.
“In our work with the supply chain FAC, we’ve seen examples from other countries that have implemented similar concepts and it really makes a difference.”
In one example Gaddis cites, a national trade authority from Singapore stated that its TradeNet “single-window” system reduced the time it takes to process trading documents from several days to several minutes. Singapore’s system has dozens of touch points that are automatically notified based on algorithms that process the application based on the kinds of cargo involved.
“Increasing globalization is stressing the U.S. regulatory systems nearly to the breaking point,” Gaddis said.
“Modernizing our systems through the successful implementation of the ITDS will have a positive effect on American competitiveness and the U.S. economy.”
According to CBP, the ITDS represents collaboration by 47 agencies to develop an automated commercial environment that will become the backbone for international trade transactions.
Currently, traders must file reports with multiple agencies, often on paper. In development for years and now undergoing testing, ITDS will allow traders to make a single electronic report and the relevant data will be distributed to the appropriate federal agencies. Administrative costs will be reduced for business and government. Agencies will obtain data more quickly through electronic filings; will be better able to process cargo more expeditiously; and identify unsafe, dangerous, or prohibited shipments.
The World Trade Organization’s December 2013 Agreement on Trade Facilitation includes a requirement that all parties to the agreement implement a “single window” in order to streamline trade flows.
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. Nearly 400 members strong, its companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical imaging and radiation therapy systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.