Seattle hosted more than 400 international delegates attending the annual World Customs Organization Information Technology conference last week at the Seattle Sheraton hotel. U.S. Customs and Border Protection played a prominent role as the host country customs organization.
The theme of the conference, "Cloud Computing, A New Era for Customs & Trade," provided government agencies, technology companies and consultants and members of the international trade community the opportunity to explore emerging trends in information technology related to global supply chain security, transport logistics, information security/privacy and trade facilitation.
CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar and WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya welcomed the delegates during the opening ceremonies, which featured the presentation of the colors by the Pacific Northwest combined CBP Honor Guard.
Aguilar delivered the opening day luncheon keynote address highlighting CBP's dependence on effective data management, which includes the exchange of 1.35 billion messages each day. He pointed out that in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., CBP responded with security enhancements in "partnerships, systems, technologies, data bases, analysts and cooperation that would enable us to extend our reach worldwide."
The conference included keynote addresses from Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Richard Spires, and CBP Assistant Commissioner/CIO Charles Armstrong. CBP employees Linda Jacksta of the Office of Information Technology and Jenny Tsang of CBP Laboratory and Scientific Services also delivered "Techtalk" presentations.
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.