A range of businesses and trade organisations are calling for swift progress on the implementation of a “single window” trade information exchange capability for exporting US firms.

The International Trade Data System (ITDS single window) is an electronic information exchange capability through which businesses can transmit data required by agencies for the import or export of cargo.

An Executive Order made by the Obama administration last year specified that this should be completed by the end of 2016 – and now 31 organisations have written to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson urging it to be kept as a “top priority”.

The organisations include the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the Fashion Accessories Shippers Association, the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA).

They write: “The final ITDS single window should be commercially meaningful, and show immediate benefits for businesses of all sizes.

“This comprehensive system should simplify trade for companies by decreasing the cost of competing in the global marketplace and set a new global standard for how a 21st century supply chain and import/export regimes should function.

“Streamlining and modernisation of compliance burdens and expenses will make US companies more competitive.”