J.W. Allen & Company Visits Capitol Hill
Pictured (L to R): Billy App, J.W. Allen & Co., FMC Commissioner Mario Cordero, Jerry Becnel, J.W. Allen & Co.
Each September members of the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) convene in Washington, D.C. for the association's annual Government Affairs Conference (GAC). The GAC enables attendees to directly engage U.S. agency representatives in the discussion of trade issues and gain firsthand insights into legislation impacting the trade community. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of critical issues gained during conference sessions, members hit Capitol Hill in force to visit their Congressional leaders in support of the NCBFAA's mission and efficient trade processing.
J.W. Allen & Co. President Jerry Becnel had the pleasure of serving as the Chairman for this year's event. Marked by strong attendance, this year's conference featured a diverse program providing a comprehensive overview of Congressional and regulatory activities including a review of Regulations Under the New Customs Act, an FMC Address, a review of NCBFAA Transportation Committee Activities, and also included ACE Partner Government Agency (PGA) Transition and Implementation sessions.
On a national level, NCBFAA critical issues carried to the Hill included the Position Paper, ACE/ITDS: An Unfinished System, which strongly supported the need for the continued funding of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) as required to ensure the completion of required functionality and system integrity. At present, the trade community has been burdened with poor system performance, system outages, and system failures in performing necessary functions, all resulting in significant and unacceptable costs borne by Customs Brokers.
A second Position Paper, Port Congestion: A Follow-up Report, focused on the need for port accountability, reliability, metrics, and infrastructure integrity. Given the critical role international trade plays in the U.S. economy, port performance must be monitored, port labor negotiation disruptions must be avoided, port demurrage must not be levied upon the trade community for terminal operator inefficiency, and port infrastructure and integrity to include port dredging must be ensured.
The NCBFAA also carried a Position Paper entitled, Congressional Action Needed on Water Resources and Development Act of 2016, which encouraged the spending of all Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund collections on port maintenance and dredging annually.
J.W. Allen & Company worked to enhance the NCBFAA's position by 'bringing the issues home' and offering insights into the impact many of the issues have not only on Louisiana businesses and the trade community but also on an economic level for the state itself. The bottom line is simple, international trade is an economic engine for the state of Louisiana which must be nurtured.
Our involvement locally and nationally, aims to ensure you – our valued clients, stay current on issues impacting your business.