Bush Signs Maritime, Air Cargo Inspection Bill

Bill moves to require 100 percent cargo screening for inbound containers

Ahlstrom cautioned that the decision to go with a five-year plan should not be viewed as a setback, since it’s more important that stepped up security measures be done correctly rather than quickly. “If we have a finished structure as to what exactly everyone has to do, and then provide enough time and resources to do it, then that puts us in a better position,” he added.

While Rogers and Ahlstrom both believe this bill has the potential to make supply chains more secure, Kelby Woodard, president of Trade Innovations, a supply chain security and customs consultancy, has a much different understanding. “What does Congress [and the Senate] hope to gain by this legislation?” asked Woodard. “They certainly are not using our hard-earned tax dollars to secure the homeland in the most logical and effective way possible. The requirement for 100-percent scanning…is essentially a 'feel good’ measure.”

At the end of the day, said Woodard, Congress will have “added complexity to global trade, overloaded CBP with useless information, strained the port infrastructures of the world, damaged our international credibility, created a security policy that is weakened by inflexibility...and made themselves feel a whole lot better in the process.”

Woodard added that the potential implications of this bill on global trade are enormous, citing how the export community should “brace themselves for retaliatory actions on the part of other countries that may enact similar regulations regarding containers leaving the U.S.”

<<Logistics Management -- 08/21/07>>