US to become more involved in port security beyond its borders

 
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Janet Napolitano of the US Department for Homeland Security speaking at the Davos World Economic Forum

The United States will develop an international strategy to secure the global supply chain from terrorists and criminals according to a new strategy adopted by President Barack Obama.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday that the “National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security” means that economic threats to critical supply chains beyond the US borders are a matter of national security.

According to a statement on the Homeland Security website: “As a number of recent events have shown us, the global supply chain is dynamic, growing in size and complexity, and is vulnerable to a host of threats and hazards such as natural disasters, accidents, or even malicious attacks. A common approach, involving the range of stakeholders with supply chain roles and responsibilities, is necessary.

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US to become more involved in port security beyond its borders

“The Strategy, focused on the worldwide network of transportation, postal, and shipping pathways, assets, and infrastructures (including communications and information infrastructures) is an important step forward. It provides strategic guidance to departments and agencies within the United States Government and identifies our priorities to stakeholders with whom we hope to collaborate going forward.”

A press release on the DHS website states:

“We must continue to strengthen global supply chains to ensure that they operate effectively in time of crisis; recover quickly from disruptions; and facilitate international trade and travel, said Secretary Napolitano. As a part of this effort, we look forward to working closely with our international partners in the public and private sector to build a more resilient global supply chain.

“The National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security outlines clear goals to promote the efficient and secure movement of goods and foster a resilient supply chain system. It also provides guidance for the U.S. government and crucial domestic, international, public and private stakeholders who share a common interest in the security and resiliency of the global supply chain.

“The international community made significant progress on this front through Project Global Shield… Program Global Shield is an initiative to protect the supply chain by preventing the theft or illegal diversion of precursor chemicals that can be used to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Since November 2010, 89 participating nations and international organizations have been sharing information about the export of 14 precursor chemicals used in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). As of January 2012, Program Global Shield has accounted for seizures of chemical precursors totaling over 62 metric tons and 31 arrests related to the illicit diversion of these chemicals.

“DHS works with leaders from global shipping companies and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on developing preventative measures, including terrorism awareness training for employees and vetting personnel with access to cargo. Fulfilling a requirement of the 9/11 Act, 100 percent of high risk cargo on international flights bound for the United States is screened.

“In addition, through the Container Security Initiative currently operational in over 50 foreign seaports in Europe, North, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and throughout Asia, U.S. Customs and Border Protection helps our partner countries identify and screen U.S.-bound maritime containers before they reach the U.S.

“Following the release of the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security, DHS and the Department of State will lead a six month engagement period with the international community and industry stakeholders to solicit feedback and specific recommendations on how to implement the Strategy in a cost effective and collaborative manner. Within 12 months of the release of the Strategy, a consolidated report on the status of implementation efforts will be developed.”

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