The U.S. government shut down at midnight Monday, but the effect on trade is expected to be minimal. Customs inspectors and other employees considered essential to the physical and economic protection of the United State will remain on the job. Any shutdown will likely only last “3-5 days,” Senator Orrin Hatch (R- Utah) speculated Monday on KSL Newsradio's "Doug Wright Show" in Salt Lake City.
Agency workers have until noon Tuesday to create an orderly shutdown. Those remaining may only work on essential activities. The Office of Management and Budget includes links to the shutdown policies for each federal agency.
The good news is that customs inspectors, air traffic controllers and uniformed agents of the Transportation Security Administration will remain on the job. So will the U.S. Postal Service. Applications for visas, passports and green cards will continue to be processed.
However, Transportation Administration inspections at airports will cease along with programs like e-Verify. The Food and Drug Administration will deal with high risk recalls, but suspend most other safety inspections. The Export-Import Bank of the United States will close, but will continue to record deposits. New obligations and delegated authority to exporters or banks under the insurance and guarantee programs will be suspended, and other programs also will be affected.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 251 organizations wrote Congress Monday urging them to pass a continuing resolution to ensure the uninterrupted funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year and to again raise the nation’s debt limit. While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allied organizations noted the importance of restraining federal spending and returning to a policy of fiscal discipline, “…with the U.S. economy continuing to underperform, the federal government needs to maintain its normal operations pending a successful outcome of broader budgetary reforms. It is not in the best interest of the employers, employees or the American people to risk a government shutdown that will be economically disruptive and create even more uncertainties for the U.S. economy.”