Understanding Customs – Bonded Warehouses and Foreign-Trade Zones

When President Donald Trump announced in January 2018 that tariffs would be increased on washing machines and solar panels, few realized the action was the first volley in what would become a full-blown exchange of retaliatory tariffs between the United States and China. By late 2019, the scope of tariffs had grown to include an estimated $500 billion in industrial and consumer goods, including cell phones, sports equipment, and footwear.

Faced with the fallout from these tariffs —some as high as 30 percent — many U.S. manufacturers and retailers began to look for ways to mitigate the impact on their businesses. An August 2019 report by National Public Radio featured one hiring specialist who said there had been a “noticeable spike” in companies looking to hire tariff specialists and supply chain experts. “Any time that the economic situation is becoming more complicated or more volatile, companies who figure out how to take advantage are going to move ahead,” the expert, Martha Gimbel of the Indeed Hiring Lab, explained.

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