January 1, 2019

What Does The Partial U.S. Government Mean For Ports And Trade Enforcement?

Due to disagreements over whether to provide $5 billion in funding for President Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall, the U.S. House and Senate adjourned in December without passing funding bills for several federal agencies, which means, since Dec. 23, most – but not all – operations at the following departments have ceased:

  • Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Transportation, and Treasury;
  • Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Federal Communications Commission;
  • Food and Drug Administration;
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission

Some agencies already had received funding for fiscal year 2019 and operations at these departments have carried on as normal. The agencies with funding include the departments of Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Labor, along with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Social Security Administration.

Together the funded agencies represent more than three-fourths of all government operations.

Additionally, most employees of the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are considered “essential” and will continue to be doing their jobs. Port operations should not be materially affected, although there could be slowdowns. The CBP will not be fulfilling the following functions: issuing trade customs broker licenses, permits, and filing codes; reviewing and responding to Enforce and Protect Act allegations and electronic allegations of trade fraud; responding to all trade data requests, including commercial requests for Importer Trade Activity information; issuing prospective rulings and monitoring import quotas (though quota entries will be accepted).