By  on March 3, 2013

WASHINGTON — Federal officials have warned that the steep automatic cuts that hit government agency budgets at midnight Friday could choke goods moving through the nation’s ports, impair ongoing trade negotiations on an Asia-Pacific trade deal and impede the launch of a U.S.-European Union trade accord.

While industry trade groups are concerned about the warnings, most are taking a wait-and-see approach to the actual impact on trade. The failure of the Obama administration and Congress to break through the budget impasse after a White House meeting on Friday triggered $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts through the end of the current budget year, which runs through Sept. 30.

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