The United States is also in negotiations of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact.
Nearly 20% of all imports into the US are food and food products. In 2002, Congress passed the Bioterrorism Act as a part of its ongoing effort to fight terrorism. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Bioterrorism Act) requires that FDA develops two systems: one to support the registration of facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food products intended for consumption in the United States and one to receive prior notice before food is imported or offered for import into the United States, beginning on December 12, 2003. Prior notice must be submitted electronically at Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Manufactured goods should also conform the American standards, which imply potential additional costs. Electric equipment should be systematically guaranteed by a third part. There are not less than 2,700 municipal or federal authorities able to distribute safety certifications, and they do vary from State to State. As there is no central source of information about the normative aspects, it is imperative to inquire beforehand with the help of an importer.
Whatever the nature of the product is, documentation is important, especially in terms of invoice and certificate of origin. The documentary formalities are notably very heavy for textiles import (above a part of 5 % in the composition of the textile product, all the products should be listed very precisely). The labeling rules can also generate important additional costs.
Finally the USA applies a certain number of embargoes, forbidding the import of products manufactured with components originating from several countries. For a list of countries for which the U.S. apply an embargo (full or partial), visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury's website.
The network in place for goods transportation is much wider than the one of travelers and concentrates on its own 30% of total goods transport.
An important deregulation took place on the American railway freight market in the 80s, and since then, the part of total freight transport increased to more than 40%.
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Last Updates: January 2015