Awareness, or lack thereof, of changes in international trade developments can mean the difference between success or failure during any given year. 2016 will be no different.

Four major 2016 international trade developments that businesses that import and/or export goods should take note, and advantage, are comprised of the following:

IMMEX – The IMMEX, or maquiladora program, makes provision for the importation of material inputs into Mexico to enable goods be manufactured or repaired, and, then, re-exported. Companies that have gone through the IMMEX program certification process, and have complied with its provisions, have earned the ability to temporarily import the raw materials and other inputs required to manufacture or repair items, while receiving an exemption from the sixteen percent VAT tax that Mexico normally levies on items imported into its national territory. Today there are more than 6000 companies participating in the IMMEX program. Sources within Mexico’s Economics Secretariat advise that there will be modifications made to the program during the upcoming year. Changes to the program will be published in the near future.

Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) – Another of the significant 2016 international trade developments to be rolled out in the coming months is the implementation of ACE, or the Automated Commercial Environment. ACE is a trade modernization initiative that proposes to facilitate and streamline information exchange between US Customs and Border Protection and forty-seven Partner Government Agencies, or PGAs. Starting in February of 2016 importers and exporters will be expected to file information related to their international trade transactions through the use of ACE defined processes and requirements.

Trans Pacific Partnership – The TPP was seven years in negotiation, and indisputably represents the largest trade deal in history. It is sure to be impactful as one of the 2016 international trade developments that shapes world commerce. The economies of the twelve nations that are signatories to the agreement combine to account for forty percent of global GDP, and move one-third of the world’s trade. Over the course of 2016, following TPP countries must seek ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty in their respective legislative bodies:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam
  • United States of America

Information Technology Agreement – The first Information Technology Agreement, or ITA, was concluded in December of 1996 at a Word Trade Organization conference that was held in Singapore. Currently there are seventy-four participants to the agreement that pledge to eventually eliminate duties on a wide range of IT products that are traded internationally. The seventy-four current participants in the Information Technology Agreement represent ninety-seven percent of the market for global IT products. Presently under consideration are measures that would eliminate tariffs on products with an estimated value of US $1.3 trillion in yearly global trade. Current WTO members that are not signatories to the agreement are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Tunisia and South Africa.