Obama signs orders to expedite trade process

Washington, Feb 20: US President Barack Obama Wednesday signed an executive order introducing a raft of measures to streamline export and import procedures for the country’s small businesses.

The order is especially important to small and medium-sized companies that depend on global trade, as it will cut the time of processing and approval procedure “from days to minutes” for small businesses that export American-made goods and services through the International Trade Data System (ITDS), Xinhua quoted the White House as saying.

Currently, businesses must submit information to dozens of government agencies, often on paper forms, and wait for days for approval before moving goods across the borders.

The ITDS, the new electronic system connecting US Customs, the trade community and 47 government agencies, will enable businesses to electronically transmit the data required to import or export cargo through a “single-window.”

Once fully implemented in December 2016 , the ITDS will dramatically reduce the time and expense for businesses to move the more than 50 million containers and $3.8 trillion worth of goods that cross borders of the US each year, it noted.

The new executive order also charges the government with a task to partner with non-government stakeholders to build more efficient business processes and improve border management policies.