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United States Trade Priorities

On March 1, 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released The President’s 2017 Trade Policy Agenda.

As detailed in the Agenda, the Administration believes that the United States will be best served by focusing on bilateral negotiations rather than multilateral negotiations – and by renegotiating and revising trade agreements when US goals are not being met. The Administration rejects the argument that the United States should, for an purported geopolitical advantage, ignore unfair trade practices that disadvantage American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in global markets.

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BREXIT Updates

UK Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29.  This gives the UK and the European Union (EU) two years to agree the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. EU member states will meet to discuss Brexit on 29 April, a month after the UK triggers Article 50. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the guidelines for the EU’s negotiating team headed by Michel Barnier, the French politician serving as the EU Chief Negotiator for Brexit since December 2016.  The scheduled elections in France, Germany and Italy add a layer of complexity that may make consensus on these guidelines difficult to achieve.

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ATA Truck Tonnage Index Decreased 0.1% in February

Source: American Trucking Associations

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index slipped 0.1% in February, following a 2.9% increase during January. (January’s index was unchanged from our press release on February 21, 2017.) In February, the index equaled 138.7 (2000=100), down from 138.9 in January. The all-time high was 142.7 in February 2016.

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Critical Information for Food Importers!

Starting May 27, 2017, the FDA will begin implementing the FDA’s Food Supplier Verification Program (FSVP).

What is FSVP?

A central feature of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FSVP is intended to be a flexible, risk-based program to verify foreign suppliers and the safety of the food they produce. FSVP will require:

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Cass Freight Index Report – February 2017

Source: Cass Information Systems

Both the Shipments and Expenditures Indexes have been positive for two months in a row. Throughout the U.S. economy, there is a growing number of data points suggesting that the economy is getting better. Some data points are simply less bad, but an increasing number of them are better, and even a few are becoming outright strong. The 1.9% YoY increase in the February Cass Shipments Index is yet another data point which strongly suggests that the first positive indication in October may have indeed been a change in trend. In fact, it now looks as if the October Cass Shipments Index, which broke a string of 20 months in negative territory, was one of the first indications that a recovery in freight had begun in earnest.

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Air Freight Consolidation From Hong Kong & Shanghai

MIQ Logistics is now providing air freight consolidation service from Hong Kong (HKG) and Shanghai (PVG) to Chicago (ORD).

MIQ Logistics consolidation services are chosen through blocked space agreements (BSA) through premium commercial and freighter airline direct flights. Many of the blocked space agreements are with freighter cargo carriers, which helps eliminate commercial aircraft restrictions that occur.

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Strategic Move For MIQ Global Logistics Atlanta Facility

MIQ Logistics is pleased to announce the opening of its new, enhanced global logistics facility in Atlanta, located at 2077 Convention Center Concourse, Suite# 200, College Park, GA 30337. Our Atlanta facility will be located within the new Gateway Center development mixed-used space. 

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Winter Storm ‘Stella’ Could Impact Supply Chains

Beginning Monday night and running through Tuesday, a major nor’easter is forecasted to impact several states in the northeastern U.S.  Blizzard conditions are expected to bring heavy snow and strong winds affecting many areas including, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey, and most of New England. According to the National Weather Service, “The heaviest snowfall is expected to occur from the northern Middle Atlantic to Southern New England where 12 to 18 inches can be expected with localized amounts up to 2 feet. Strong winds could down trees and cause power outages”.

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U.S. Economic Snapshot – February 2017

“After six consecutive monthly gains, the U.S. Leading Economic Indicators index (LEI) is at its highest level in over a decade. Widespread gains across a majority of the leading indicators points to an improving economic outlook for 2017, although GDP growth is likely to remain moderate,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “Only housing permits contributed negatively to the LEI in February, reversing gains over the previous two months.” The Conference Board

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The Employment Situation – February 2017

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 7.5 million, changed little in February. The unemployment rate, at 4.7 percent, was little changed over the month but was down from 4.9 percent a year earlier.

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