On behalf of the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), we are distributing this Executive Summary of the Association’s COVID-19 Survey designed to measure the impact of the virus on AAEI members’ trade operations. This survey comprises of eleven (11) questions and was conducted over three (3) weeks from March 16-20, 2020 (Week 1), March 2327, 2020 (Week 2), and March 30-April 3, 2020 (Week 3).
AAEI has been a national voice for the international trade community in the United States since 1921. AAEI represents the entire spectrum of the international trade community across all industry sectors. Our members include manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers and service providers to the industry, which is comprised of customs brokers, freight forwarders, trade advisors, insurers, security providers, transportation interests and ports. Many of these enterprises are small businesses seeking to export to foreign markets. AAEI promotes fair and open trade policy. We advocate for companies engaged in international trade, supply chain security, export controls, non-tariff barriers, import safety and Customs and Border Protection issues. AAEI is the premier trade organization representing those immediately engaged in and directly impacted by developments pertaining to international trade. We are recognized as the technical experts regarding the day-today facilitation of trade, including the administration of and compliance with customs laws of the United States.
On March 20, 2020, AAEI submitted a letter to the President with a series of relief measures to American businesses. Our recommendations were based on Week 1 results of AAEI’s COVID-19 survey asking American companies about the impact of COVID-19 and the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America on their trade operations and global supply chains. Based on the first week results of the survey (attached), a few key findings support our recommendations:
- Most company employees are telecommuting and/or reducing hours of operations. This slowdown is affecting companies’ ability to make regulatory filings (e.g., entry filings with U.S. Customs and Border Protection).
- A significant number of companies are building up more inventory of necessary product from source countries.
- Most companies have experienced a slowdown in obtaining product from other countries.
- The slowdown has affected both export and import shipments. The imbalance of shipping containers will affect American companies’ ability to export product from the United States to other countries.