The Precision Software News Round-Up: 6 July 2018 is full of warnings… GM warns that tariffs could cost US jobs; the US warns it will pursue companies who violate Iran sanctions; in the Precision Report, we warn that financial compliance violations have a high cost. Plus Kerry Logistics is to build a third box port in Georgia and PostNL is to use electric vehicles in Utrecht.

GLOBAL TRADE

NO NAFTA AGREEMENT UNTIL AFTER US MIDTERMS

President Donald Trump will not sign the revised North American Free Trade Agreement until after the midterm elections. In an interview with Fox Business, President Trump also claimed that he was unhappy with NAFTA. NAFTA negotiations have been hampered by ongoing tariff disputes between the US and Canada. After the US imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, Canada hit back by announcing billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs. During his interview, the president again threatened to impose tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts. This would be a significant blow, as the auto industry is a critical part of Canada’s economy. NAFTA talks have stalled over several issues. One of these is President Trump’s insistence on a clause that would end NAFTA every five years. For more on this, please see The Guardian.

GM WARNS THAT TARIFFS COULD COST JOBS

General Motors has warned that new tariffs could result in “less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages.” The car maker also said that President Trump’s threat to impose import tariffs on automobiles and auto parts could cause car prices to increase by thousands of dollars. President Trump proposed the tariffs as a way of protecting US business. However, GM and trade groups as well as other automakers have warned that his policies could backfire. US car manufacturers rely on imported parts and materials. The president’s threat to pull out of the NAFTA could also hurt the industry’s supply chain. For the full article, please see The New York Times.

LOGISTICS

KERRY LOGISTICS TO BUILD THIRD BOX PORT IN GEORGIA

Kerry Logistics is to build a third box port in Georgia. The Hong Kong-based 3PL has signed a memorandum of understanding between partner company Globalink and Anaklia City JSC. Kerry Logistics will develop the Anaklia deep-sea port and special economic zone about 70 kilometers north of Poti, Georgia’s main container gateway. The new port should be open by the end of 2020. Plans are also in place to ensure it is fully integrated with rail and road connections.

“Anaklia is a key cargo gateway in the Caucasian region. With Globalink’s proven track record in the Georgian market, and our comprehensive multimodal freight network across Eurasia, we are committed to devising innovative solutions to facilitate the building of Anaklia Port into a successful logistics hub for the region, with integrated logistics, sea-rail, and sea-road services,” said Edwardo Erni, managing director of China and North Asia for Kerry Logistics. For more on this, please click here.

CARRIERS

POSTNL TO USE ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN UTRECHT

This week, PostNL announced plans to use electric carrier bikes and small electric vehicles in Utrecht. These will deliver business mail and parcels. The electric vehicles will also empty mailboxes. PostNL generally deploys delivery vans for emptying letterboxes. The scheme is part of PostNL plan to reduce its carbon footprint. Electric carrier bikes are emission-free. They are also often faster than cars in busy city centres. In addition, the postal service is planning to deploy electric carrier bikes in about ten cities during 2018. For more information, please click here.

SANCTIONS

US THREATENS TO PURSUE IRAN SANCTION VIOLATORS

The US government has warned that it “will not hesitate” to punish foreign companies that violate sanctions set to be re-imposed on Iran. This pronouncement is likely to increase tensions between the EU and the US. The initial round of US sanctions against Iran will come back into effect on 4 August 2018. These target Iran’s automotive sector as well as trade in gold and other key metals. Later in the year, on 4 November, further sanctions will also snap back. These are aimed at Iran’s energy sector and the Iranian central bank. In May, President Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the Iran nuclear deal. European countries who negotiated the deal are keen to continue doing business with Iran. Germany, France and the United Kingdom have promised to work with Iran to keep the deal in place. You can read more on this at Politico.

THE PRECISION REPORT

REPORT AND INFOGRAPHIC: FINANCIAL COMPLIANCE

In 2014, an international bank hit the headlines for being the recipient of the largest ever penalty issued by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The amount? An impressive $8.9 billion for non-compliance with sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Syria. Financial trade compliance is a time-consuming as well as labor intensive task. Banks and financial institutions are must comply with a vast number of regulations. These aim to prevent terrorism financing, criminal activity and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. For a quick guide to financial trade compliance risks, see our infographic. For a detailed report, please see The High Cost of Financial Compliance Violations.