Success Story
Equipment and Machinery Bangladesh

$3 Million Shipment Threatened by Unexpected Tariffs Saved by U.S. Commercial Service


Ellicott Dredges, LLC., recent sale to Bangladesh of three dredges, worth $4.3 million, had been essentially stopped by an unexpected 30% tariff increase on dredges, in direct conflict with a long-standing waiver to keep tariffs at 1%. Ellicott was faced with the buyer unwilling to pay the sudden, sharp tariff increase.

Carey Esslinger, a trade specialist at the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore, worked with Ellicott, the International Trade Administration, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the State Department, the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh local government, and others to create a path forward. Despite his efforts, the tariffs remained in place, so a new solution was required to enable the company to complete the shipment.  

Carey reached out to a U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist who is a true expert in export documentation, Dina Molaison of Atlanta, to evaluate the solution. Dina counseled Ellicott on the suggested solution, which involved careful wording and content on the export documentation in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Industry & Security’s guidelines. This solution enabled the company to complete the shipment of the sale at the original $4.3M price and not the price that included the additional tariffs. 

“The guidance provided by the U.S. Commercial Service around the world helped Ellicott appreciate that any changes to another country’s tariff regime would not happen quickly, and that creative thinking along with business model adjustments were required to capture these export sales. While the tariff and its challenges remain in place, the new strategy developed on this project will accommodate future export sales that benefit both Ellicott and Bangladesh’s ambitious dredging programs.” Philip Grove, Ellicott Dredges