Bureau of Trade Analysis
BTA reviews agreements and monitors the concerted activities of ocean common carriers and marine terminal operators under the standards of the Shipping Act of 1984. The Bureau also reviews and analyzes service contracts, monitors rates of government owned controlled carriers, reviews carrier published tariff systems under the accessibility and accuracy standards of the Shipping Act of 1984 and responds to inquiries or issues that arise concerning service contracts or tariffs. The Bureau also is responsible for competition oversight and market analysis, focusing on activity that is substantially anti-competitive under the standards of 6(g) of the Shipping Act of 1984. BTA strives to be an expert organization on the economics of international liner shipping and maritime agreements, especially with respect to issues of competition and unfair trade practices as they may affect the interests of the shipping public and U.S. international trade.
An integral part of BTA's responsibilities is the systematic surveillance of ocean common carrier and MTO activity and commercial conditions in the U.S. liner trades. Accordingly, BTA administers a variety of monitoring programs, and other research efforts, designed to apprise the Commission of current trade conditions, emerging commercial trends, and carrier pricing and service activities.
Major monitoring programs include:
- Conducting systematic surveillance of ocean common carrier activity in areas relevant to the Commission's administration of statutory standards;
- Identifying and tracking relevant competitive, commercial, and economic activity in each major U.S. foreign trade; and reviewing the reasonableness of the rates of government-owned or -controlled carriers.