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Collaboration is Key at CBP’s East Coast Trade Symposium


(U.S. Customs & Border Protection)

“We’re looking to introduce a dialogue, to bring you into a conversation about how we move forward with our trade strategy,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. “We want to talk about the next phase, how we keep up with really exciting changes in supply chains, technology and the ability to communicate globally.”

Acting Commissioner McAleenan assured the more than 700 attendees who gathered at the two-day event held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis that CBP would continue to finish “the ambitious efforts that we’ve been collaborating on for the last several years. We’re going to get all of that done,” he said. “We want to be there at the forefront with you to make the U.S. border the most modern and efficient globally. We’re trying to challenge ourselves to make sure we’re not just focusing on the immediate objective, but also thinking about where we want to be going in three to five years and beyond.”

In the symposium’s opening keynote address, Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade, presented the goals and priorities of CBP’s trade strategy. “We recognize that our basic responsibilities remain the same—security, enforcement, and facilitation,” said Smith, who used the analogy of a four-lane highway to describe CBP’s strategy for the next few years.

The first lane, Smith explained, is comprised of “secure trade lanes” or CBP’s efforts to protect the country from threats posed by high-risk goods moving in and out of the U.S. The second lane focuses on “next generation facilitation,” which includes opportunities for deregulation and new business models.

The third lane is about “intelligent enforcement,” allowing CBP to integrate and apply information, authorities, and resources to enforce trade laws and regulations. “The information that we gather is a very powerful tool,” said Smith. “Analyzing that information more carefully with an eye toward predicting future violations and seeing where patterns exist will help us narrow in on those violating the law.” Click here to read more.