You will pay for cargo security

NEW YORK CITY — American consumers will pay higher costs for imported goods because of increased security to prevent terrorism, a consultant said Wednesday.

Michael Conners, a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Va., told a gathering of maritime officials at the U.S. Maritime Security Expo here that the maritime industry can't afford to pay for security, and Congress has given no sign it will ante up more than seed money to help secure U.S. ports.

"There is no question the maritime industry cannot bear the burden, and it must be borne by the consumer," said Conners.

Conners spoke on the first day of the conference that is exploring how the maritime industry can secure its goods and products far from the U.S. borders.

Although federal officials have imposed new rules and regulations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, much work still needs to be done to make sure six million containers entering U.S. ports each year do not contain weapons of mass destruction smuggled by terrorists.

"We have to educate the American public that our goods will be affected," Conners said.

So far, the Homeland Security Department has provided grants to help U.S. ports improve their infrastructures. Commercial companies have worked on their own to increase security of their containers in exchange for faster access through U.S. Customs.

Tighter security could result in more than $2 billion in tariffs from cargo that had previously been fraudulently identified. But for the most part, the public will pay, Conners said.

In addition, he said the United States must make sure that its neighboring countries — Mexico and Canada — maintain the same charges on goods to prevent shippers from unloading their goods in other countries to avoid paying U.S. tariffs.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    malware detection (Alexander Yakimov/Shutterstock.com)

    Microsoft targets copycat influence websites

    Microsoft went to court to take down websites it believes to be part of a foreign intelligence operation targeting conservative think tanks and the U.S. Senate.

  • Cybersecurity
    secure network

    FAA explores shifting its network to FISMA high

    The Federal Aviation Administration is exploring an upgrade to the information security categorization of IT systems as part of air traffic control modernization.

  • Cybersecurity
    Shutterstock photo id 669226093 By Gorodenkoff

    The disinformation game

    The federal government is poised to bring new tools and strategies to bear in the fight against foreign-backed online disinformation campaigns, but how and when they choose to act could have ramifications on the U.S. political ecosystem.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.