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Will the US shutdown affect your imports, exports and bottom line?

Over a week ago, the US government shutdown due to a budget disagreement between the House (Republican controlled) and the Senate (Democrat controlled). While minor fluctuations in the stock market indicate that analysts believe this shutdown will be short lived, other experts are warning that this battle is only a warm-up to October 17 when the two sides debate over the debt ceiling.

So what does this mean for Canadian businesses who import and export to the US?

The most obvious repercussion is delays at the border. So far, there are no reports of any bottle necking. Border officials have remained on the job due to the fact they are considered an essential service. However, if you or your US business partners rely on shipping or receiving any of the following products from the US, you can expect slower Customs clearance on the following goods:

• Food
• Pharmaceuticals
• Medical Devices
• Radiological products
• Environmentally sensitive items

If you are an exporter with shipments that require paperwork from Federal agencies that have shutdown, you will be facing slower times at the border. These agencies include:

• Environmental Protection Agency
• The Food and Drug Administration
• The Department Agriculture
• The Fish and Wildlife Service

The last time the US Federal government shutdown —17 years ago — we saw these same cargo delays. Some experts are cautioning businesses who rely on US trade to prepare for more delays and drop in demand if the shutdown lasts more than two weeks.

If you have any concerns about how the shutdown may affect your business and logistics chain, don’t hesitate to contact (GX contact). We are up-to-date with the latest border news and how it affects importers and exporters.


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