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  3. CBP Trade News Snapshot
  4. Trade News Snapshot - Volume 5, Issue 10

Trade News Snapshot - Volume 5, Issue 10


I. Office of Trade Activity

CBP publishes updated forced labor resources

In December, CBP added several updates to its Forced Labor and UFLPA webpages to make the pages easier to navigate and provide valuable resources to stakeholders. The new additions included updates to several fact sheets on forced labor, frequently asked questions on UFLPA, best practices for applicability reviews, and more. CBP also published new graphics and links, as well as a new video describing forced labor, and plans to continue exploring multimedia tools to educate a variety of stakeholders on this important issue.

CBP launches Black Men in Leadership Forum

Ian Saunders speaks at the Black Men in Leadership Forum

On December 14, more than 100 CBP employees gathered to celebrate the official launch of the Black Men in Leadership Forum (BMLF) in Washington, D.C. The group will advocate for and prepare Black men for leadership positions in the federal government by raising awareness, building advocates and mentors, creating networking opportunities, and coaching candidates in critical job skills. During the event, BMLF founder Deputy Executive Director Adam Jackson of CBP’s Office of Trade and World Customs Organization Secretary General Elect Ian Saunders spoke about the challenges experienced by Black men in the workplace and emphasized the value of diverse backgrounds, talents, and perspectives in achieving the vast mission of the U.S. Government. The launch of the BMLF marks an important stride toward a more diverse and equitable federal government, and the group looks forward to more productive conversations in the future.


II. Outreach

CBP participates in first-ever “Trade Day” at UN Climate Change Conference

CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie Highsmith and Director of Green Trade Lea-Ann Bigelow posing for a photo at the UN Climate Change Conference

From December 2-6, CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie Highsmith and Director of Green Trade Lea-Ann Bigelow joined the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 28, in the United Arab Emirates. During the conference, EAC Highsmith and Director Bigelow worked to advance CBP’s Green Trade Strategy and emphasize the role of customs in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation by participating in high-level panels on environmental enforcement, supply chain emissions, circular economy, and other aspects of green trade. They also met with government and non-governmental organization counterparts as well as many of the industry representatives present to foster partnerships focused on accelerating green innovation and improving climate resiliency in customs and trade.

While in the United Arab Emirates, EAC Highsmith also met with partners such as the Emirates Intellectual Property Association and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to discuss shared customs enforcement and border management priorities. The WTO published a new report to coincide with COP 28, “Trade Policy Tools for Climate Action,” which cites CBP’s Unified Cargo Processing and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Program as programs to emulate in effectively reducing commercial greenhouse gas emissions at the border.

CBP is immensely grateful to our Homeland Security Investigations colleagues at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi for contributing to the overall success of our engagement at COP 28.

DEAC Leonard discusses IPR enforcement and education efforts at public health symposium

DEAC John Leonard at the Johns Hopkins University Symposium on Public Health Strategies for Combating Counterfeit Drugs in Washington, D.C.

On December 1, Office of Trade Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner (DEAC) John Leonard represented CBP at the Johns Hopkins University Symposium on Public Health Strategies for Combating Counterfeit Drugs in Washington, D.C. DEAC Leonard participated in a panel titled “The Global Burden of Counterfeit Drugs,” along with Ms. Pernette Bourdillon-Esteve of the World Health Organization, Mr. Charlie Preston of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Henry Joseph Michtalik of Johns Hopkins University. During the panel, DEAC Leonard discussed CBP’s three-pronged strategy for protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) – educate, engage, and enforce. DEAC Leonard provided an overview of CBP’s IPR seizures and explained how the agency is addressing challenges posed by the growth of e-commerce and increased access to counterfeit pharmaceuticals. He also discussed the benefits of public-private partnerships – including CBP’s e-Recordation Program and the CBP-U.S. Chamber of Commerce Memorandum of Understanding – and emphasized the importance of consumer awareness efforts such as CBP’s Truth Behind Counterfeit Campaign.

Eric Choy travels to Thailand to meet government officials and industry groups

Eric Choy standing for a photo with other government officials and industry members in Thailand.

From December 12-16, Office of Trade Executive Director (XD) of Trade Remedy and Law Enforcement Eric Choy traveled to Thailand as part of a CBP team verifying a Thai manufacturer exporting to the United States. While in Thailand, XD Choy met with the Director General of Thailand’s Department of Foreign Trade as well as Thai customs, industry groups, and U.S. Embassy officials to discuss forced labor issues and the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) investigative process. XD Choy also toured Laem Chabang Port and met with Container Security Initiative personnel.

Commerce and CBP bid farewell to Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Saunders

Ian Saunders, EAC AnnMarie Highsmith and others stand for a photo at his farewell ceremony.

On December 18, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted a farewell ceremony for Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Saunders, who will begin his first five-year term as Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels, Belgium on January 1, 2024. EAC Highsmith joined Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves, Under Secretary Marisa Lago, and Assistant Secretary Arun Venkataraman in delivering remarks before a crowd of more than 100 U.S. Government officials and external stakeholders. Mr. Saunders was elected to head the WCO in June 2023 following a storied three-decade career with the federal government, including 20 years at CBP. The CBP Office of Trade wishes Mr. Saunders every success as he leads the sole multilateral organization dedicated to the development and implementation of international customs standards, tools, and instruments.


III. News You Can Use


Trade Statistics

Monthly Trade Statistics

In November 2023, CBP processed more than 2.7 million entry summaries valued at more than $268 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $6 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. Trade via the ocean environment accounted for more than 38 percent of the total import value, followed by air, truck, and rail. CBP stopped 331 entries valued at more than $125 million for further examination based on the suspected use of forced labor, and which may be subject to a Withhold Release Order, Forced Labor Finding, or the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s rebuttable presumption prohibiting importation into the United States.

Last Modified: Jan 26, 2024