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An Overview of U.S. Port Security Programs

Jon D. Haveman, Howard Shatz and Ernesto Vilchis

PPIC Working Papers from Public Policy Institute of California

Abstract: Since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, security has became paramount in both domestic politics and the daily lives of Americans. In the immediate aftermath of those attacks, policymakers focused on air passenger traffic. As the debate broadened, however, the issue of goods movement moved to the fore. Because U.S. ports-seaports in particular-are terrorist targets as well as conduits for terrorist materiel, the U.S. government has introduced policies with two broad aims: creating a comprehensive port-security system and striking a balance between safety and commercial efficiency. This paper presents an overview of the U.S. federal government's port security efforts to date, including new laws and regulations, screening efforts, grants for security improvements at the nation's seaports, and programs to secure the supply chain. Although these efforts are significant, security concerns remain. Accordingly, the paper discusses some of their shortcomings.

Date: 2004-12
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Handle: RePEc:ppi:ppicwp:2004.15