Winter Storm Toby Closes Roads

While the southern states experience their first week of pollen, the North East just can’t catch a break as it hunkers down for the fourth winter storm of the month.

Expected to bring strong winds, tree damage, and power outages, Winter Storm Toby may be the heaviest snowstorm of the season and states like New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia are once again preparing for the impact.  Most areas will shut down operations and ban commercial vehicles from major state highways. The heaviest is expected tonight, but as of now, the following ports have declared delays and closures:

PONYNJ container terminals will be closed today Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

Green’s New Jersey office will be closed today, Wednesday, March 21, however operators will be online and working remotely. We will continue monitoring emails with the expectations of opening tomorrow. If you have an emergency, contact Thomas Grone at 856 924 0942.

Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin as we continue to update you on port closures and delays.

CPTPP & NAFTA: International Trade, Not Much Agreement

As the world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th, the global trade community watched 11 countries, excluding the United States, sign on to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Santiago, Chile, removing up to 98% of tariffs for member-nations trading across Asia.   Minutes later, U.S. President Donald Trump announced import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, taking a protectionist stance amid the celebration and NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) negotiations.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as TPP-11, and originally conceived as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is the third largest trade deal in the world, apart from NAFTA and the European Union.  The 11 signatories, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, will see the elimination of 98% of tariffs and greater leverage to compete against the region’s dominant economy, China.  Spearheaded by Japan and Australia, both U.S. allies were surprised when America pulled out of the original agreement, when President Trump took office, citing job protection and better deals from bilateral negotiations.  America’s deferred participation, however, could be a strategic advantage for other signatories, as early investments gains scale and market share.

But don’t worry, the door has been left open for future entrants, including the U.S. and her 22 suspended provisional requests, such as intellectual property rights and dispute resolution reforms. CPTPP will become legally binding 60 days after it is ratified by six of its signatories.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), however, has been a staple of American business practices for almost a quarter of a century, with over 125,000 U.S. businesses dependent on tariff-free exports annually.  Creating historical precedent, U.S.-led re-negotiation of NAFTA seeks to reduce its deficit amongst trading partners, splitting the difference between increasing U.S. exports and reducing Canadian/Mexican imports.

Here are some of the changes the Trump administration is looking for:

end dispute resolution panels

under NAFTA, companies must turn to independent, resolution panels to handle disputes, however, the U.S. administration believes this violates sovereignty rights

  • two types of filing;
    • chapter 11 – companies suing governments
    • chapter 19 – governments suing governments

“buy American” provisions

to exclude Canadian or Mexican firms from seeking U.S. government contracts, while opening more Canadian and Mexican government work to U.S. companies.

intellectual property rights

expanding protection to reflect intellectual property rules closer to those in the United States.

“rules of origin” increase

the current 62.5% content requirement for duty-free consideration up to 85%, primarily for automobiles.

dairy & poultry freedom

by ending Canada’s supply managed subsidization of these two industries.

energy market liberalization

has made Mexico a ripe market for U.S. and Canadian investments, which both partners want inked into the deal.

early expiration

U.S. parties want a short, 5-year shelf life for the deal, leaving room for future improvements and renewal.

Showing his business stripes, President Trump temporarily excluded Canada and Mexico from the initial steel and aluminum mandate for better leverage in NAFTA negotiations.  But while the U.S. economy is the world’s largest market, Canada and Mexico do have other options.  Unlike the United States, Canada and Mexico signed on to the CPTPP, in a greater effort to diversify their trade portfolios and hedge against American and Chinese dominance.  Bilateral agreements across Europe, as the United Kingdom prepares for BREXIT, also create trade stability against American pressures.

As 2018 unfolds, international sourcing shifts will no doubt impact the freight market as mega-vessels are introduced into key trading lanes and strong consumer demand keeps inventories moving.

Follow freight trends by subscribing to Green’s blog above!

Trump’s Tariff, 25% Steel and 10% Aluminum

On Thursday March 8, 2018, President Trump defied domestic and international critics and signed orders to impose 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminum imported into the U.S. The action was taken in defense of American industry and leverage as the President re-negotiates NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.  With tariffs going into effect in 14 days, commodity-reliant businesses will be feeling the impacts.


Steel has long been used in construction and served a strong indicator of overall economic development of a region. From the 1980s to present day, the number of steel workers in the United States has gradually declined as the production of steel moved to foreign countries, where production costs were significantly lower. In the early 2000s, an economic boom in China and India caused a 6% increase in steel demand and since then, Chinese manufactures, like ArcelorMittal, have risen to become the world’s largest producers. Today, China supplies 49% of the world’s steel, and the United States is the largest customer.

In 2017, the United States imported 5.7 million metric tons of steel from Canada, while some states, like Illinois, depended on Brazil for 41% of its steel. Countries like Mexico and Canada have been steady suppliers for the American market due to the free trade agreement, which was excluded from the imposed tariff; however, the current administration is looking to revise this agreement in the future. 


In a response to the “assault on our country” by foreign steel competitors, President Donald Trump surprised allies across the globe when he announced imposing tariffs on aluminum and steel. Adding to the America First agenda, the President upset Republican lawmakers who warned of “unintended consequences.” The goal of the tariffs includes protecting America’s domestic industry by supporting steel and aluminum manufacturers and promoting them so other countries turn to America, first.

In addition to protecting America’s best interest from excessive “dumping,” that countries like China are infamous for, the tariff protects against transshipping.  This practice act of modifying Chinese steel to re-sell from another country, masks the true origin of international production.


The initial wave international response was quick and negative, as other countries, fearing sale and job losses, voiced apprehension to Trump’s way of gaining soft power in NAFTA negotiations. Countries like the UK have responded by threating to retaliate against U.S. producers like Levi’s and Harley Davidson with trade barriers, alluding to a global trade war – with U.S. agriculture and consumer electronics most likely to be affected. The UK has been the most vocal about their discontent, but China poses the greatest threat, if they choose to act on the U.S. trade deficit.


Commodity prices will increase to accommodate the additional costs of tariffs, but it’s no doubt consumers will end up holding the bill. In a politically charged environment like this one, it’s uncertain what the final outlook will be. Time will tell how long the tariff will last, but as of now, the best we can do is to wait to see what unfolds.

Winter Storm Quinn Hammers Northeast Ports

Following two winter storms in one week, the Northeast can’t catch a break. Cities like Boston and Nantucket experienced up to 3 feet of snow, while Green’s New Jersey office took on 6 inches.  Here’s how East Coast ports are dealing with the arctic blast.

Due to strong wind gusts and frigid air temperature, the following terminals are experiencing closures and delays as of March 8, 2018:

APMT: Operations came to a standstill at 1:00PM yesterday. We are still waiting for updates from the Port Authority on reopening.

PONYNJ: Container terminals are CLOSED today, March 8, 2018 for clean-up.

PNCT: Operations came to a standstill yesterday at 2:00PM. The terminal will remain closed today (3/8) and reopen at 6:00AM on March 9th. Free time will be extended for boxes not in demurrage.

SEA LINK TSC: Closed as of 1:00PM yesterday and will reopen on Friday, March 9th at 7:30AM.

RHCT Newark: Operations ended at 2:00PM yesterday. We are still waiting for updates from the Port Authority on reopening.

RHCT Brooklyn: Operations ended at 3:00PM yesterday. We are still waiting for updates from the Port Authority on reopening.

PhilaPort: Closed early Tuesday, March 6th with hopes of reopening tomorrow morning.

We are still monitoring all port authority websites and social media. For continuous updates on Winter Storm Quinn, stay connected with us on Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook as we update you throughout the weekend.

GSP Expiration Looms, December 31

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries. The program was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in the developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976.

The GSP periodically expires and must be renewed by Congress to remain in effect. All previous GSP renewals that have taken effect after a lapse have included a retroactive clause providing refunds to importers of eligible goods imported during the lapse period.

The 2015 GSP reauthorization (H.R. 1295) will expire on

December 31, 2017. 

Barring Congressional action, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) will expire for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse after midnight, December 31, 2017.

Special Procedures for GSP-Eligible Goods

In the event of a lapse and until further notice, importers are strongly encouraged to continue to flag GSP-eligible importations with the SPI “A,” even as they pay normal trade relations (column 1) duty rates on otherwise GSP-eligible importations. Importers may not file SPI “A” without duties.

  • CBP is working to have programming in place that, in the event that GSP is renewed with a retroactive refund clause, will allow CBP to automate the duty refund process.
  • CBP will continue to allow post-importation GSP claims made via post summary correction (PSC) and protest (19 USC 1514, 19 CFR 174) subsequent to the expiration of GSP, for importations made while GSP was still in effect. CBP will not allow post-importation GSP claims made via PSC or protest subsequent to the expiration of GSP, for importations made subsequent to expiration.
  • The pending expiration of GSP has no effect on goods entered with African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preference.
  • Since the GSP does not provide an MPF exemption, its expiration has no impact on the collection of the MPF.
  • Goods of least-developed beneficiary developing countries (LDBDCs) listed in HTSUS General Note 4(b)(i) maintain their MPF exemption per 19 CFR 24.23(c)(1)(iv).
  • Per 19 CFR 141.68(a)(2) & (3), the time of entry can be as early as the time that the entry documents are filed, provided that the merchandise is within the port limits and such has been requested.

Extension of Liquidation

Requests for the suspension of liquidation under 19 CFR 159.12 pending the reinstatement of GSP will be denied. Questions should be directed to the Trade Agreements Branch at

GSP Eligibility

Almost 5,000 tariff items are eligible for GSP benefits:

  • 3,500 of which are available to all GSP countries
  • 1,500 of which are available solely to Least Developed Beneficiary Developing Countries (LDBDCs)

In order to benefit from GSP, a good must be either wholly obtained or sufficiently manufactured in a GSP country. Sufficiently manufactured means that all 3rd-country materials have undergone a substantial transformation plus at least 35% of the good’s value has been added in the beneficiary country. Additionally, the good must be “imported directly”.

Eligible tariff items are identified by the symbols “A”, “A*” or “A+” in the “Special” sub-column of the HTSUS.

  • The symbol “A” indicates that all GSP countries are eligible (HTSUS General Note 4(a))
  • The symbol “A*” indicates that certain GSP countries are ineligible (HTSUS General Note 4(d))
  • The symbol “A+” indicates approximately 1,500 additional tariff items for which only the LDBDCs are eligible (HTSUS General Note 4(b))

For more information, visit the USTR-US Generalized System of Preferences Guidebook.