This week CBP is co-sponsoring the second conference on agricultural issues faced at U.S. borders and how best to safeguard U.S. agricultural resources from the introduction of dangerous plant pests and foreign animal diseases.
The Joint Stakeholder Conference brings together CBP, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), industry stakeholders and private industry. The objective is to find opportunities to leverage the resources and experience of the attendees, and to find opportunities for outreach and messaging to their component entities.
The theme of the conference, "Pests, Pathways, and Partnerships," is well chosen. There are new pests appearing all the time and common pests are being seen in new pathways. The partnership of CBP, APHIS and our stakeholders is more important now than ever before to be able to react to these new incursions. This cooperation allows for the seamless interception, identification and eradication of harmful pests no matter what their pathway may be.
In his opening remarks Acting Deputy Commissioner Winkowski stated "CBP is seriously committed to Protecting our Homeland; and that includes the strengthening of our robust agricultural mission. I am optimistic that during your panel discussion and subsequent break-out sessions you will reveal what is working, identify best practices, and discover ideas for improvement."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.