Customs and Trade Facilitation Policy

Intel public policy: How Intel promotes innovation worldwide

Modernization of customs and trade procedures is highly important to major global supply chain participants like Intel. With business activities spanning over 100 countries and nearly 80 percent of its sales taking place outside the United States, Intel heavily depends upon the ability to move products across international borders quickly, cost effectively, and with minimal burdens.

Intel thus strongly supports the trade facilitation agreement, or TFA, recently concluded by the 160 member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreement augurs major worldwide progress in the achievement of efficient trade procedures, including elimination of red tape and needless formalities at national borders, increasing transparency and consistency in the application of customs rules, expediting cargo release times, and enabling importation benefits for authorized operators. Indeed, former WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has noted that "removing barriers to trade and cutting red tape in half…could stimulate the USD $22 trillion world economy by more than $1 trillion." A properly implemented TFA would benefit Intel by removing burdens and uncertainties within its global supply chain, cutting time-to-market overhead, reducing inventory carrying costs, and boosting global market access.

Given WTO approval of the TFA, the United States and other governments must work energetically to comprehensively implement the agreement's obligations across the WTO membership while ensuring it yields maximum trade benefits in the most effective and timely manner possible.

Key Challenges

  • Enabling the TFA to enter into force by December 2015, a process that requires two thirds of the WTO membership to ratify the agreement. The United States and other governments should work aggressively to meet this target.

  • Achieving broad TFA implementation by building customs capacity in developing countries that enables capability to operationalize the agreement's many provisions and take advantage of associated trade benefits. Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and businesses should coordinate as needed to build the customs infrastructure for creating this capacity.

  • Obtaining speedy implementation of the agreement by creating conditions that allow developing countries to provide TFA-required notifications to the WTO in a manner that commits them to fulfill TFA objectives as close to the entry-into-force date as possible.

  • Establishing national and multilateral oversight, problem-solving, and consultation capability over the coming months by standing up WTO and national trade facilitation committees as required under the TFA. The work of these committees should embrace internationally-coordinated process metrics that assure timely, transparent, uniform, and otherwise efficient and effective achievement of TFA objectives.