Truck X-ray technology takes center stage

| Monday, March 25, 2002

On route to Monterrey, Mexico March 20, President Bush stopped to announce a security plan to speed traffic and goods across the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border and "weed out" terrorists.

Bush also went to a U.S. Customs cargo inspection facility at the "Bridge of the Americas" crossing in El Paso, TX to watch a truck being inspected by an X-ray machine. The demonstration meant to show how cross-border traffic could be inspected quickly.

Meanwhile, companies providing X-ray technology including American Science & Engineering Inc., Santa Clara, CA, and Billerica, MA, stand to gain from increased federal spending on security. The company's MobileSearch product line is a truck-mounted X-ray detection system. Two MobileSearch units are in place in the Pharr, TX and Ysletta, TX Ports of Entry.

This technology "will continue to play a major role in our growth as the number of trucks entering from the U.S. from Mexico continues to increase," the company's web site said.

Meanwhile, the White House said plans to speed legal traffic among NAFTA partners include introducing "smart cards" for trusted cross-border commuters and inspecting and sealing cargo at the point of origin so it does not need to be inspected. The United States and Canada have already agreed to tighten security by developing permanent resident cards and a joint immigration database.

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