Supply chain a priority for US department of homeland security

by Array

WASHINGTON, DC: In a report produced to outline the policy of the department of homeland security (DHS) on the Canada-US border, the agency specifically mentions how important it is to keep the supply chain between the two countries open, even if it doesn’t present any specific plans on how to accomplish that goal.

In the agency’s first Northern Border Strategy (NBS) plan, secretary Janet Napoitano outlines three key goals:

  • “deterring and preventing terrorism and smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration”
  • “safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel and immigration”
  • “ensuring resiliency before, during, and after terrorist attacks and other disasters”

According to the policy paper, the US views its northern border “as a mechanism for facilitating secure flows of lawful trade and travel. This concept of ‘secure flows’ recognizes that the global economy is connected by systems and networks that transcend national boundaries, including the global supply chain, trade, transportation, and financial systems. Each of these is critical to North American prosperity, and DHS is focused on ensuring both their efficiency and their security.

“Viewing the goals of NBS through this lens makes clear the need to safeguard and promote lawful and efficient transnational flows throughout the entire supply chain.”

Additionally, DHS has a specific objective outlined in the paper to “strengthen the global supply chain”.

In order to do this, DHS insists “the United States is committed to working with our international partners and the private sector to keep this powerful engine of commerce, jobs, and prosperity from being attacked or disrupted…DHS is committed to addressing threats in the global supply chain, as early as possible in that chain and away from North America to both secure our country and facilitate legitimate international trade.”

The paper cites the agreement between Canada and the US to work toward an integrated cargo security system as one step taken to secure the supply chain. It also mentions the 2012 National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security policy developed by the US federal government, but beyond listing these two efforts, it doesn’t expand on what steps will be taken in the future to further strengthen the supply chain.

All it says is it will use partnerships, technology, infrastructure, personnel, and information, intelligence, interdictions and investigations as tools to realize the policy’s objectives.