Smart borders via business dumb idea, Byrd says

| 5/2/2002

According to news reports, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) April 30 criticized voluntary programs advocated by the Bush administration where business takes care of security screening in exchange for speedier truck checks at the Canadian border. "If this is the way we are going to look at the security of the American people, I'm afraid they aren't going to sleep well at night," Byrd said.

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil said the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT program, is in fact successful. He said Ford Motor Co. and General Motors have already implemented the program.O'Neil also cited the need to prescreen high-risk ocean-going sea containers.

Meanwhile, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) worried that rigorous seaport screening, if not as fast as truck screening, might create an unfair competitive environment for America's imports.