Administration says security not at odds with trade

| Monday, June 24, 2002

The Bush administration met June 18 with groups representing trucking companies, port authorities and airlines to lessen concerns that homeland security efforts might hamper international trade, AP reports.

Tom Ridge and Customs Service Commissioner Robert Bonner said the proposed Department of Homeland Security will keep trade moving and also improve security. "We need to understand that enhancing border security and facilitating commerce must be the dual mission," Ridge said.

Some were concerned about how the new department might handle efforts to improve the movement of goods across borders. In addition, they worry whether trade concerns would take a back seat to fighting terrorists and other domestic security measures.

Bonner said the president, in a message to Congress that accompanied his plan to create the new agency, noted the need to simultaneously improve security and "expedite the legal flow of goods on which our economy depends."

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