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The report was requested by Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden and ranking member Mike Crapo in a letter written to the CBP last month.

While the senators believe that with effective policies in place AI could help detect anomalies in customs documents and physical screening at the US border, they also added that without controls, the use of AI could raise problems.

In a statement, Wyden explained: “As is frequently the case with new technology, AI provides us with exciting opportunities to better serve the American people, but we’re beginning to see the consequences of leaving these systems unchecked.”

CBP has been asked to provide the senators with information on how AI is already being used to enforce and facilitate trade, including in small package screening, forced labour law compliance and identification of fraud in customs entries.

The senators have also requested information on how AI tools are tested and audited and whether notice of AI use is provided to importers and exporters and whether they are able to challenge decisions made by AI.

GlobalData’s patent analytics data suggests a number of apparel companies have filed AI patents related to supply chains, logistics and sourcing, which suggests that this is an area of interest for the apparel sector.

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By GlobalData
Source: GlobalData

In 2017, patent activity in the topic seemed to peak, with 21 patents filed by apparel companies on AI and supply chains. In 2020, a total of 19 patents were filed on the subject. This year, a further 15 patents have been filed on the topic so far.

Earlier this year, experts suggested that increasing legal and consumer demand on fashion companies may soon mean that AI is essential to help avoid import detentions, penalties and reputational harm.

In November, a panel discussion at the Digital Fashion Summit revealed how AI and digitalisation can reshape traditional fashion supply chains and offer a pathway to sustainability and accountability in 2024.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.