Thursday, July 25, 2013

Homeland Security: If You Wanted More CBP, HSI, and TSA Officers, You Got It!

In the proposed Fiscal 2014 annual budget just passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee of the United States Senate on July 18, 2013,"Big Government" is going to get even bigger.  The United States Department of Homeland Security will get about $12.5 billion. Yes, that's Billion Dollars.

For those people screaming for more "border security" to stop illegal immigration into the United States, and to remove illegal aliens already in the United States, there is plenty to be happy about.  More and higher fences, more drones conducting surveillance, and more Border Patrol officers are  expected on the Southwest border with Mexico.

For those of us more interested in the commercial aspects of the Homeland Security Department funding bill, in summary, here is what I think is important:
  1. CBP's trusted traveler program (i.e. Global Entry) gets about $30 million, a huge increase. For readers of this Blog, you know I have been a long time and fervent supporter of CBP's Global Entry Program. Global Entry needs to be drastically expanded as it is currently extremely selective so that anyone with any kind of questionable background is eliminated.
    2.   More emphasis on commercial trade enforcement, particularly:
  • stopping counterfeit merchandise from entering the United States;
  • stopping transshipped or misclassified merchandise from entering the United States in order to attempt to evade the payment of antidumping and/or countervailing duties to CBP; and
  •  food and consumer good import safety.
From discussions on Capitol Hill, based on number of personnel and budget allocations, it appears to this author that the balance between "border security" and "trade facilitation" is still very much in favor of border security.

For any questions or comments on this post, please write me.

Peter Quinter, Chair
Customs and International Trade Law Group
GrayRobinson, P.A.
1221 Brickell Ave., 16th Floor
Miami, FL 33131
office (305) 416-6960
mobile (954) 270-1864