Join the 36,020 other exporters and importers who get the latest news, tips and insights from international trade professionals.

Subscribe to Email Updates

International Trade and COVID-19: Where We've Been, Where We're Headed

Helen Mann | April 28, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

To say that 2020 didn’t turn out as expected would be an exercise in understatement. A combination of global economic disaster and trade-hampering policies marked the year. The coronavirus ripped through supply chains, disrupting economies worldwide. Trade wars raged. Policy changes kept importers and exporters in the United States on their toes. As the U.S. (and indeed, the world) struggles to overcome last year’s challenges, exporters have their own set of obstacles to grapple with.

Read More

May Is World Trade Month

David Noah | April 26, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

May is World Trade Month, and with it comes many events designed to celebrate the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy and to teach new and experienced exporters and importers about various aspects of international trade in this changing global economy.

This year's theme is "Growing exports in uncertain times."

Read More

What Is Trade Compliance?

David Noah | April 21, 2021 | Export Compliance, Import Basics, Export Basics

What does “trade compliance” mean? To understand, we first need to look at importing and exporting as a whole. In the United States, trade compliance hinges on the fact that we need to protect the physical safety of our country and citizens, as well as our economic security.

Read More

Biden’s New Buy American Initiative

Leslie Glick | April 19, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Those expecting a dramatic reversal in some of former President Trump’s protectionist trade policies were surprised to see that one of the first trade-related proclamations in the first days of the Biden administration was “Buy American.” The executive order—Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America's Workers—was issued without Congressional approval on Jan. 25, 2021, just 10 days after inauguration.

The executive order promotes enforcement of the existing Buy American Act of 1933 by tightening the test for measuring domestic content (the amount of a product that must be made in the U.S. for a purchase to qualify under Buy American law) and more tightly controlling when waivers are granted. The decree would make changes to Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), which deal with sales to the U.S. government, including some military and NASA contracts—a large sector of the economy.

Read More

Why I Hate Routed Export Transactions

David Noah | April 14, 2021 | Automated Export System (AES), Export Basics

People sometimes call me a control freak. And when it comes to my company, I can’t deny it—I like to know what’s going on when it comes to my business. That’s why I can’t stand the idea of a routed export transaction.

You see, when you agree to a routed export transaction, what you’re ultimately doing is giving up control. And when you give up control, you’re much more likely to get in trouble.

Here are just a few notable risks exporters take when they agree to routed export transactions:

Read More

An Introduction to Incoterms

David Noah | April 12, 2021 | Export Basics, Incoterms

If you ship goods domestically, you may wonder why you need to understand Incoterms. FOB is FOB, isn't it?

Well, actually, no—it's not!

While the vast majority of companies in the United States use the shipping terms identified under the U.S. Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) when shipping domestically, these shipping terms aren't appropriate to use when exporting.

Read More

Proforma vs. Commercial Invoice: What’s the Difference?

David Noah | April 7, 2021 | Export Basics, Export Forms

A typical export process includes the use of both the proforma and commercial invoices. Shippers who don’t know better may think the two forms are interchangeable—but they’re not.

In this article, we’ll examine the differences between the proforma and the commercial invoice and the role each form plays in an export shipment.

Read More

Learn More about International Trade During World Trade Month

David Noah | April 5, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Those of us who are involved in international trade don't need to see pictures of a container ship stuck in the Suez Canal to understand the importance of global trade to the world's economy. We see it every day in the conversations we have with our international vendors and customers, freight forwarders and shipping lines, and customs brokers and customs authorities.

That's why the United States has designated May as World Trade Month every year since 1935. It provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the importance of international trade to the U.S. economy as well teach people how to begin and grow their exports.

Read More

6 Areas of Your Company That Need Export Training

David Noah | March 31, 2021 | Export Compliance, Export Basics

At first glance, becoming an exporter seems easy enough. Research and development needs to know how to create new products. Sales and marketing need to know how to market and sell them. And the export department needs to know how to export them.

If only it were that easy.

Read More

Export Compliance: Understanding Restricted Party Screening

Arnesh Roy | March 29, 2021 | Export Compliance

All exporters—regardless of size—must comply with U.S. export regulations.

Export compliance entails that you are following the rules and regulations established by the U.S. government. Among those rules is a restriction on doing business with entities the government deems a danger to U.S. interests.

Failure to comply is a violation of U.S. law and may result in civil or criminal prosecution, as well as denial of exporting privileges.

Read More