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ST&R Expands Government Relations & Supply Chain Expertise

Government relations is defined as the process of influencing public policy at all levels of governance: local, regional, national, and even global. Government relations aims to persuade government officials to change or maintain policy to more effectively fit the needs of a particular group.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., announced today that Angela Marshall Hofmann has joined the firm as Vice President, International Trade and Supply Chain Resiliency, increasing ST&R’s capacity to leverage its legislative and government relations expertise to address rapidly changing global regulatory environments impacting trading systems and compliance.

“Just as traders started to catch their breath from years of uncertainty on tariffs and trade restrictions, they were hit with a raft of other problems, from greater demands on global logistics, supply chain visibility, and accountability to forced labour reporting requirements and evolving climate requirements,” said Nicole Bivens Collinson, President, International Trade and Government Relations, for ST&R. “But ST&R has continued to expand and evolve to help clients face trade challenges for nearly 45 years, and adding a top-notch professional like Angela will help us continue that success.”

Most recently, Angela led the Eurasia Group’s Industrial and Consumer Corporate Practice, specialising in geopolitical risk impacting global manufacturing, logistics, retail, and consumer goods multinational organisations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Angela also has extensive corporate experience, including nearly 15 years with Walmart Stores in a variety of roles, including vice president for international government affairs where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce, and sourcing countries. Throughout her career she has also launched innovative projects for public-private supply chain capacity building focused on transparency, safety, and agricultural development.

Angela Marshall Hofmann began her career in the United States Senate, where she served first as trade legislative counsel for Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and later as international trade counsel for the Finance Committee. She also served as president of the Organisation of Women in International Trade, leading 25 chapters and 2,000+ members around the globe, from 2010 to 2013.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. Logo

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. Logo

United States to Ban Goods Made in Xinjiang China

Under a new law the United States will ban imports of all goods made in whole or in part from any good from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, effective June 21, 2022. Companies need to use the next 180 days to ensure their supply chains do not include such goods.

President Biden signed into law Dec. 23 the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act, which effectively deems all goods mined, produced, or manufactured in the XUAR to be produced by forced labour in China. Even those not importing directly from China may have goods detained if the materials used to produce the imported goods in a second country are tied at any level to XUAR or specific entities or commodities associated with forced labour in China.

Under this law, imports of goods from the XUAR will be banned unless United States Customs and Border Protection determines that:

  1. the importer of record has fully complied with relevant guidance to be provided by CBP, as well as any regulations issued to implement that guidance;
  2. the importer has completely and substantively responded to all inquiries for information submitted by CBP to ascertain whether the goods were made wholly or in part with forced labour; and
  3. by clear and convincing evidence, the goods were not made wholly or in part by forced labour.

Any good from the XUAR that thus overcomes the rebuttable presumption of being made with forced labour will be included in a public list to be issued by CBP 30 days after making such determination.

Further, an interagency Forced Labour Enforcement Task Force will have to develop a strategy to prevent the importation of forced labour goods from China along with the following lists:

  1. entities in the XUAR that produce goods with forced labour
  2. entities working with the government of the XUAR to recruit, transport, transfer, harbour, or receive forced labour or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of the XUAR
  3. products made wholly or in part by such entities
  4. entities that exported products made with forced labour from China to the United States
  5. facilities and entities, including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, that source material from the XUAR or persons working with the government of the XUAR or the XPCC for purposes of poverty alleviation program or pairing-assistance program or any other government labour scheme that uses forced labour

The Task Force must seek public input no later than Jan. 24, 2022, and the public will be given no less than 45 days to submit comments. A public hearing must be held within 45 days after the close of the public comment period.

The State Department must then submit a report to Congress by March 23, 2022, that provides a strategy to address forced labour in the XUAR along with lists of (1) entities in China or affiliates that use or benefit from forced labour in the XUAR and (2) foreign persons that acted as agents of such entities or affiliates to import goods into the United States The final strategy to be developed by the Task Force must be in place by June 21, 2022.

Importantly, the UFLPA calls for the Task Force to provide guidance to importers with respect to the following:

  1. due diligence, effective supply chain tracing, and supply chain management measures to ensure they do not import any goods made with forced labour from mainland China and especially from the XUAR
  2. the type, nature, and extent of evidence that demonstrates that goods originating in mainland China were not made wholly or in part in the XUAR
  3. the type, nature, and extent of evidence that demonstrates that goods originating mainland China, including goods detained or seized pursuant to Section 307, were not made wholly or in part with forced labour

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., has developed a program to help companies review their supply chain visibility. The STR program first provides a stocktaking of procedures, policies, and programs in place to evaluate the level of due diligence and reasonable care. Next is testing and tracking to review a shipment to determine if the procedures in place can timely provide the necessary documents to CBP to rebut a claim of forced labour. Finally, CBP will assist in responding to any CBP-issued detentions.

For more information on ST&R’s import compliance reviews and how they can benefit your company, please contact Charles L. Crowley at (914) 433-6178 ccrowley@strtrade.com.

Customs Attorney Charles Crowley

Customs Attorney Charles Crowley

4 Tips For Starting a Successful Motor Trade Business

While the motor trade industry can be very competitive, it is also a very lucrative one. Running a successful motor trade business requires that you have a full understanding of the market and are ready to do a lot of research.

To help you get started and be successful, here are some important tips to keep in mind.

Consider Working for Another Trader First

While it is tempting to want to get started with your business as soon as you can, it is always better to gain some experience before you jump in. This is especially true if you have not been involved in this type of business before. Working for another trader will help you gain the necessary skills you need, help you understand the market, and can even be your opportunity to gather data about the local car market.

Do Your Research

Before you do anything like trying to get funding, it is important to do thorough market research. You will need to know which types of cars are popular in the area where you would like the business located. You can also look at the demographics of the area to have a better idea of the type of inventory to get started with.

Next, use additional details to get a better understanding of the vehicle registration details, export and import reports, as well as market forecasts. Another great source of data is your competition. If there are motor trade businesses nearby, walk into their showrooms and try to find out which types of cars they sell most often.

Deal With the Administrative Tasks

There are a lot of administrative tasks you need to handle before you start the business. These include things like writing a business plan, getting the necessary funding, applying for licences and permits, finding the right and secure premises, deciding on and registering your business structure, and setting up the software you need for the business.

You will also need to start thinking about marketing and establishing a social media presence, as both of these are crucial in this competitive business.

Get The Right Insurance

When running a car dealership, when selling used cars or providing trade-in services, you will need insurance. Motor trade insurance is crucial for businesses where employees handle or drive cars that do not belong to them. The best motor trade insurance policies are actually various insurance policies combined into one. These include road risk insurance for the customers’ and business’ cars, liability insurance, employer’s liability as well as product and public liability.

Because every business is different, you will likely need motor trade insurance tailored to your specific circumstances and business structure. Comparison sites like Quotezone make it easy to compare motor trade insurance quotes so you can find the right insurance quickly. This allows you to compare dozens of deals from different providers so you can find quotes that suit your business best while saving both time and money.

Starting a motor trade business can seem challenging and even intimidating for some, but it does not have to be so. Most of what you need to do to be successful will be similar to what you would do if you were starting another type of business, only that this is a motor trade business.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Named As Legislative Counsel

The NCBFAA has retained Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, as Legislative Counsel, led by Nicole Bivens Collinson.

Collinson leads the International Trade and Government Relations Practice of ST&R, in Washington, D.C., and serves as managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office. She is also a member of ST&R’s Operating Committee and a commentator on trade matters on MSNBC and NPR.

Collinson has over 30 years of experience in government, public affairs, and lobbying. She has drafted and guided the successful implementation of several pieces of key international trade legislation positively affecting the bottom line of many United States companies.

“Recent events have highlighted just how crucial well-operating supply chains are to our economic health. The NCBFAA’s members play an indispensable role in making that happen, and for almost 125 years the Association has worked tirelessly to make it easier for those companies to do their jobs,” Collinson said.

“ST&R looks forward to aiding this work by using our decades of experience building effective relationships with Congress and federal agencies to advance the priorities of the NCBFAA and its members.”

Collinson is a well-known international trade authority in Washington, regularly called upon by members of Congress and the Administration to help explain complex trade programs. Her decades of work with the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees and the Senate Finance; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations; and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees has established deep and lasting relations with members of Congress and their staffs.

Prior to joining Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, Collinson served as assistant chief negotiator for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, responsible for the negotiation of bilateral agreements with Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Sub-Continent and Africa.

She also served as a country specialist in the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, where she was responsible for the preparation of negotiations on specific topics between the United States and Latin America, Eastern Europe, China, and Hong Kong, as well as the administration of complex textile agreements.

Collinson holds a master’s degree in international relations from The George Washington University and a triple bachelor’s degree in political science, European studies, and French from Georgetown College.

“I have known Nicole for a number of years and find her to be utmost professional and extremely knowledgeable of the legislative process in Washington, D.C.,” NCBFAA President Jan Fields said. “The association will certainly benefit from her talent and expertise as we navigate current and future legislative matters that impact our industry.”

“On behalf of the association, I am thrilled to see Nicole join our team,” said NCBFAA Legislative Chair Laurie Arnold. “Nicole’s reputation as an expert in our industry precedes her and we are thrilled to be able to deepen our relationship with Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg.

We look forward to working closely with her to effectively advocate for our members’ needs before Congress, the Administration, and beyond.”

About Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

ST&R is a leading international trade, customs, export, and trade policy firm that has set the standard for international trade lawyers and consultants since its founding in 1977.

Clients worldwide, including governments, manufacturers, importers, exporters, customs brokers, freight forwarders, and sureties, rely on ST&R’s comprehensive and effective services to succeed amid the constantly changing demands of global trade.

Global Trade Law Firm Expands West Coast Presence

Global trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories because there is a need or want of goods or services. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product.

Customs and international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., announced today the addition of Juan Moreno as Director, Trade Compliance. He will be based in the San Diego area.

Mr. Juan Moreno

Mr. Juan Moreno

“Juan is an ideal fit for the ST&R team,” said Lenny Feldman, a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. “He has decades of pragmatic trade compliance experience in a wide variety of core areas that are crucial for our clients, particularly as they are working to both improve compliance efforts and strengthen their bottom lines amid today’s shifting global trade environment.

Juan has helped a lot of companies develop controls and tools to address just these types of issues.”

Juan Moreno advises importers, exporters, trade associations, and multinational corporations in the United States and Mexico on a wide variety of regulatory and international trade subjects. He has been especially active on USMCA compliance, helping companies transition operations from NAFTA to USMCA rules, and he is well-versed in Mexico’s IMMEX and PITEX programs.

He also engages and guides companies on strategies for legally lowering MFN, Section 301, and other duties, including by taking advantage of classification, origin, valuation, and other customs strategies as well as free trade agreements, preferential trade programs, and other tools.

A member of the international trade community since 1994, most recently Juan Moreno served for 14 years as director of trade compliance for a San Diego-based customs law firm. He worked for many years as a customs compliance manager, first with a leading customs broker and then with a company closely involved with operating maquiladoras in Mexico.

He has trained professionals all over the United States and Mexico on compliance issues and is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of international trade matters.

Juan Moreno can be contacted at (415) 490-1402 or jmoreno@strtrade.com.

Agriculture Industry Experts: How To Work Smarter, Not Harder

Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Are you or someone you know a farmer by trade, and always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to save your time and money when working out in the field? Maybe you have always dreamed of being a farmer, and you are trying to find some ways to help you get started on a small hobby farm or even a large-scale industrial farm that you have recently started?

Perhaps you suffered a huge loss last year as a farmer, and you are looking for some ways to help your entire process become more efficient, and ensure your success in the coming growing seasons? If any of this sounds like your situation, then keep on reading to get some great information on the topic. This article will discuss a few ways that leading agricultural industry experts believe will allow you to work smarter, not harder.

Farming has always benefitted from the introduction of new technology, so make sure you are giving your crops every possible opportunity to thrive.

Soil

Having good soil is essential if you want to grow crops that produce a large yield and taste great. Bad soil will almost always result in bad products. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your soil maintains its quality year after year.

Many farmers like to rotate their crops to prevent soil leaching, which occurs when you grow the same crop in the same soil year after year. Another way to enhance the quality of your soil is by using things like compost and fertiliser to boost the number of nutrients present in the dirt.

This will give your crop a constant supply of all the essential building blocks and ensure that you get the maximum yield and quality out of your work.

Innovate

If humans were not capable of innovation in every aspect of our life, then we would likely have never evolved at all into the amazing creatures we are today. You could even make an argument that innovation is the key to success for all life in the universe.

What we can take from this information is that innovating in the agricultural business is a good thing. If you want to be on the cutting edge of any industry, then you will need to be constantly innovating, and keeping an eye on new developments in the industry. Innovations do not happen overnight, and can often be the product of a mistake.

Be sure to always experiment with new ideas and try to intentionally improve your process to be more efficient and organised. This will allow you to always get the most bang for your buck where investing your time is concerned.

Calculations

When you are trying to run a large-scale agricultural operation, making sure that all of your calculations are correct is of the utmost importance. Making even a small mistake can have huge implications for the viability of your farming operation. There are a variety of different tools that contemporary farmers have been using to help them get more accurate numbers.

Some farmers use a number of bushels per acre calculator or other similar software in order to give them accurate predictions of the types of yields that they can expect with the upcoming harvest. If you have never used these resources to help you figure out your farming yields, then you probably spend a lot of time doing it manually or have no prediction at all. Both of these can be problematic, so make sure you make the right decision and use the best tool for the job.

Seeds

One of the key components of being successful in the agricultural industry is to make sure that you have quality seeds that you know will produce a great product and yield. Many commercial farms now purchase their seeds from large companies like Monsanto, which have monopolised the seed industry.

There are many problematic aspects to the monopolisation of seeds by large companies, and it has led to a monoculture in many ecosystems around the world. If you are a small-scale farmer, or even a larger scale one, you should absolutely look into purchasing your seeds from an independent supplier, rather than going to big companies that are trying to monopolise the industry.

Irrigation

Another extremely important aspect of having a successful yield as a farmer is to make sure that all of your irrigation systems are working properly.

If you live in an area that can experience droughts and extremely dry conditions, then irrigation will be absolutely essential if you want to have any crops at all. Lots of irrigation systems run on timers, so you can simply set everything up and just let it do its thing.

Tractors

Massive innovation in the farming industry was the development of mechanical tractors that allow farmers to quickly harvest and plant massive amounts of crops or seeds. Before tractors were invented, farmers would use animals like oxen, horses, and donkeys in order to pull their ploughs to help prep the soil for planting. These tasks can now be done in a single afternoon with only a single person operating a tractor. Tractors can also be one of the most expensive investments for a farmer, and can easily exceed 1 million dollars after all the required hook-ups and combines have been purchased.

After exploring some of the different ideas and strategies presented previously, the hope is that you have come away with a better understanding of some different ways that leading agricultural industry experts to recommend changing up your farming practices in order to work smarter, not harder. Even though working hard can make you feel like you are doing the best thing in order to be successful, that is not always the case. Sometimes using the best technology and resources available to you can make a drastic difference in the overall productivity or profitability of the agricultural industry.

The time has come to move your farming practices into the 21st century along with the rest of the world. You will not regret improving your farming process and will be able to reap the rewards for years to come.