The directive “cuts processing and approval times from days to minutes for small businesses that export American-made goods and services by completing the International Trade Data System by December 2016,” the White House said.
Under the current system, some businesses are required to provide information to dozens of government agencies, which leads to a multi-day wait to move certain goods across the border.
With the president’s latest executive order, the new information system “will allow businesses to electronically transmit, through a ‘single-window,’ the data required by the U.S. government to import or export cargo.”
Many companies still submit such data in paper form.
The president is expected to promote his trade agenda in talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, discussions that come days after Democrats dealt a blow to the White House's broader push on business deals with ally nations.
Obama's State of the Union call for “fast-track” legislation to expedite future trade pacts is already dead on arrival on Capitol Hill -- thanks to Democratic opposition.
In scope, the latest executive order is smaller than those recently issued by Obama. But the directive will likely stoke the GOP narrative that the president is implementing his agenda by ignoring Congress.