Donald Trump’s Presidency has been making waves around the world. The first several months of his term have impacted many across the United States and around the world. But how is international trade really being affected, and as a result, how is the shipping industry now faring?
In fact, the U.S. economy is in good shape right now and will no doubt continue to grow for another 12-24 months, at least this is what Fauad Shariff, the Co-Found and CEO at digital ocean freight procurement platform CoLoadX, believes. For container imports in particular this is great news. For exports, however, with a weaker overseas markets and strong dollar, the environment isn’t so promising. But as with many industries, shipping is cyclical, and no doubt in a year or so the market for exports will be more promising.
The shipping industry as a whole could actually benefit from Trump’s Administration far more than was originally believed. Elaine Chao, the Transport Secretary, has experience in both the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and has other deep ties to the industry. It’s been a long time since the maritime industry has found itself so well represented at this level in the government. She is adamant that infrastructure development and emerging technologies will be her primary focus, and the Port of South Louisiana has already been given assurance that the dredging of the Mississippi River will take place as part of Trump’s 50 ‘Emergency and National Security Projects’. With Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce, another individual with experience in and ties to the shipping industry, the future does indeed look promising.
However, following Trump’s most recent executive order, which could be perceived as a lack of diplomacy, it is yet to be seen whether US trade and shipping does indeed face this bright future. Given “America First” certainly suggest little room for anyone else, we can at least imagine that increase in international trade is unlikely.
Still, in the first months of his time in office, the exact impact that Trump’s presidency will have on the shipping industry is, as yet, unclear. Depending on decisions that are made in regards to trade and foreign policy, the shipping industry in the US will either find itself thriving, or it could see a decline. Only time will tell.