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Obama Administration Releases the U.S. National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security

Davos, Switzerland

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Obama administration’s National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security was unveiled to the global trade community. The U.S. is seeking to foster greater international cooperation to protect global supply chains from disruptions caused by natural disasters and terrorism. The strategy proposes to increase information sharing arrangements with foreign stakeholders who have key supply chain roles and responsibilities, as well as implement global standards for supply chain security.

The Strategy outlines two main goals of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which can be paraphrased as:

  1. To promote the secure and efficient movement of goods through:
    1. Resolving threats early by integrating security processes into supply chains
    2. Improving ability to identify goods that are contaminated or prohibited, and cargo compromise and misdirection
    3. Limiting access to cargo and information to those with a legitimate need for access
    4. Modernizing supply chain infrastructure and processes and simplifying trade compliance requirements
  2. To foster a resilient supply chain by:
    1. Using risk management principles to identify and protect key assets
    2. Promote the implementation of global policies and practices that will restore the movement of goods after a disruption

Click here to read the text of the Strategy in its entirety.

The Strategy is another U.S. government initiative, building on other post 9/11 voluntary and mandatory supply chain security programs already in place, some of which include:

  • The Customs - Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT),
  • The Importer Self-Assessment Program (ISA),
  • 10+2 Security Filing requirement, and
  • 100% cargo screening

International cooperation on cargo security has formally been in place since 2005, when a majority of WCO members signed the letter of intent to participate in the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Trade (SAFE). The Obama Administration is seeking to build on the SAFE Framework to further improve global cargo security.

The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. State Department will have a six month engagement period with the international community and industry stakeholders to obtain feedback and recommendations on how to:

  • implement the goals of the Strategy and enhance the efficiency and resilience of the global supply chain.
  • understand evolving threats (terrorist as well as natural) and vulnerabilities in the global supply chain as a whole and among different modes of transportation.
  • reduce threats/ vulnerabilities and encourage global implementation of these means.
  • work in concert with industry and the international community to further strengthen the global supply chain, including ways to increase participation in and improve the effectiveness of private-public partnership programs.
  • identify assumptions currently guiding supply chain security policies and programs that may be incorrect, dated, or obsolete.

Guidance for stakeholders inclined to provide feedback to the U.S. government can be found here.

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