Serial No. 107-222: Homeland Security: Protecting Strategic Ports: Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session, August 5, 2002   [open pdf - 4MB]

Serial No. 107-222: From the opening statement of Christopher Shays: "The globalization of just-in-time trade brings bustling economic vitality to America's ports. Ninety-five percent of international goods entering the U.S. flow through these vital trade nodes, representing fully 25 percent of our gross domestic product. But the growing pace and volume of that trade also brings growing vulnerabilities. Containers listed as holding high-tech machinery can also contain smuggled nuclear material for use in a dirty bomb. Sailors who slip away from their ships could be delivering orders to activate an al Qaeda cell. In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, tightening security at ports and borders stalled the movement of parts and equipment essential to economic activity and growth. We learned a disrupted port means a badly disrupted economy. It was a lesson not lost on would-be terrorists. A qualitative not a quantitative approach is required to improve port security. Various estimates about the tiny fraction of imports actually inspected could be reassuring, not frightening, if we could be sure that the right ships and warehouses were being inspected, those posing the most risk. Knowing that is a matter of intelligence at ports of origin, of diligence in the search for anomalies in a sea of routine trade data, and a vigilance in engaging high-risk cargoes before they reach the dockside. Tension between tighter security and faster commerce is inevitable." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Patricia Frank, Chris Hart, Steve Lauer, JayEtta Z. Hecker, James Baldwin, Jack Bulger, Denise Crawford, Ronald Johnson, Allen Thompson, James Farley, Mary Neal, James G. Butler, Carl Davis, Gary Dykstra, George Williamson, David Gee, Thomas Hindle, James F. Jarboe, Janet Kovack, Arthur Savage, Christopher Shays, Willie Tims, Jr., Stephen White, and Jim Davis.

Report Number:
Serial No. 107-222
Public Domain
Media Type:
Help with citations