Retailers Applaud Rejection of Markey Amendment to 'Safe Ports Act'

April 27, 2006
Group wanted to see committee block scanning of cargo containers, container seals

ARLINGTON, Va., April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Retail Industry Leaders Association Senior Vice President Paul Kelly issued the following statement following the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee's 18-16 vote to reject an amendment to the SAFE Ports Act (H.R. 4954) sponsored by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA). The amendment would have mandated the use of unproven technologies to "scan" every container in a foreign port, as well as the use of "high tech" container seals.

"The Retail Industry Leaders Association congratulates the House Homeland Security Committee for defeating efforts to amend the SAFE Ports Act that would have required adoption of unproven technologies and untested procedures in the cargo container screening process. This amendment would have essentially mandated the use of technologies whose time has not yet come, and forced the implementation of systems that contain a host of unresolved operational issues.

Any legislation should build upon the effective multi-layered system approach the U.S. has developed over many years. Before any technology can be mandated, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must ensure the technology's functionality and application. RILA urges the government and Congress to work with private sector users of the system to determine the best methods to deploy new technologies in order to achieve maximum results.

RILA applauds all members of the Committee for their commitment to improving our nation's maritime supply chain security system. We believe the bipartisan Lungren-Harman bill builds upon the progress that has been made to develop a multi-layered approach to supply chain security that pushes our nation's borders out. RILA will continue to work with all members of the committee to find ways together to further improve the security of the supply chain for the sake of our employees, customers and all Americans."

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is a trade association of the largest and fastest growing companies in the retail industry. Its member companies include more than 400 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.4 trillion in annual sales. RILA members operate more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers, have facilities in all 50 states, and provide millions of jobs domestically and worldwide.

SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association

CONTACT: Erin DiMuzio of Retail Industry Leaders Association, +1-703-600-2028, or [email protected]; or George Felcyn, +1-202-466-6210, or [email protected]