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REGIONAL REPORTMEXICO & CENTRAL AMERICA


have to close lanes, resulting in increased waiting times for commercial shipments and travellers.” Members of the logistics community are


warning customers to plan for delays to shipments. Jason Craig, director government affairs


at C.H. Robinson, said on April 2: “This past weekend, rhetoric increased significantly regarding the potential of closing the border completely. While this threat is not new, it certainly feels different this time around, and specifically raises questions for those involved in regular cross-border freight movements.” Noting the “fluid” nature of


announcements from the US government, Craig urged supply chain professionals to plan for several possible outcomes, including various options for partial closures, a temporary total closure aimed at achieving policy goals along the lines of the government shutdown earlier in the year – or simply continued uncertainty.


Mitigating delays He highlighted several strategies that might help shippers mitigate delays. For instance, reviewing time-critical shipments; considering a range of transport modes including air and rail to keep freight moving; making use of warehouses and secure carrier yards to reduce demurrage charges; and pre-validating all Customs documents to avoid additional delays once ports of entry open. However, Eric Gantier, managing


America – is expected to grow by 1.7 percent (down from 2 percent in 2018), reflecting concern over what the bank calls “mixed signals regarding the course of future economic policy”. Still, investors are likely to feel more


T


confident following presidential elections and the negotiation of USMCA, the as-yet- unratified trade agreement between the USA, Canada and Mexico that will replace NAFTA when it comes into effect.


www.heavyliftpfi.com


he World Bank predicts that Central America and the Caribbean will grow 3.4 and 3.2 percent, respectively, in 2019. Mexico – the second-largest economy in Latin


There are other factors at work. The


ongoing tension over the USA–Mexico border may relate directly to humanitarian and security issues, but it is having an impact on the movement of goods, too. US Customs and Border Protection


(CBP) said in March: “Up to 750 CBP officers (CBPO) from ports of entry along the southwest border will soon be supporting Border Patrol with care and custody of migrants. CBPOs will assist with processing, transportation and hospital watch. “This shifting of resources and personnel


will have a detrimental impact at all southwest border ports of entry. CBP will


director for DHL Global Forwarding, Mexico, and regional head of the company’s Industrial Projects division, said: “I believe the political relationship between the USA and Mexico has actually not been the main factor affecting project cargo. I would instead say that any negative effect in the movement of said cargo is more likely due to the new international trade strategies implemented by the USA.” The US government has been instituting


various protectionist trade policies, such as tariffs on goods imported from China. In a tweet in early April, US President Donald Trump praised the Mexican authorities for apprehending migrants on the southern side of the US-Mexico border. He added: “However, if for any reason


Mexico stops apprehending and bringing the illegals back to where they came from, the US will be forced to tariff at 25 percent all cars made in Mexico and shipped over the Border (sic) to us. If that does not work, which it will, I will close the border.” This measure would “supersede”


May/June 2019 51


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