Expediting Border Crossings for People and Products

By April 6, 2010Infrastructure, Trade

USA TODAY interviews  Alan Bersin, the new Customs and Border Protection commissioner, endorsing the concept of “fast pass” programs that help clear approved importers and travelers through borders more quickly. From “U.S. border chief to push trade and travel“: 

“I think that there are places in the private sector that have concluded that we are not interested in trade facilitation, that security has crowded out all concerns,” Bersin said. “The burden of proof is on us to demonstrate to the trade community that we are concerned with security — we’ll always be — but we see that it can be implemented in ways that will maximize our economic competitiveness.”

Reporter Thomas Frank interviews the NAM’s Catherine Robinson, director of high technology trade policy, who applauds Bersin’s comments while noting that border crossing themselves must be expanded to handle the traffic. “Trusted-shipper programs only go so far. You still have to have the infrastructure,” she said.

Bersin was one of the 15 recess appointments President Obama announced on March 27. He has been at the Department of Homeland Security since April 2009 as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security.  He comes to Washington after a lengthy career in San Diego in education, law and government.

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