Deputy Commissioner Aguilar Emphasizes More Communication, Collaborative Work with the Trade at NCBFAA 2010 Conference
In his first public act as Deputy Commissioner, David V. Aguilar addressed the National Custom Brokers and Forwarders Association of America annual conference in San Antonio and emphasized greater communication and collaboration with customs brokers, who he termed as "boots on the ground" in CBP's ongoing integration of cargo security and facilitation.
"You are the boots on the ground; you breathe it, you live it," Aguilar said, speaking of commercial operations and the role custom brokers play in ensuring that the whole gamut of information submitted for imports and exports processed everyday by CBP adheres to federal law.
Deputy Commissioner Aguilar was introduced by NCBFAA President Mary Jo Muoio who expressed her appreciation for him to make his first speech as deputy commissioner to her organization.
"We are very pleased that on his first official day in his new position he made an effort to address our members," Muoio said. "He was incredibly well informed. We appreciate the effort to work closely with CBP leadership at the Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner's office."
Aguilar noted the importance of the free and secure flow of international trade and how the economic security of the nation depends on the ability of both CBP and the trade to protect the supply chain from infiltration by terrorists.
"These borders delineate our way of life. The threat we are facing is unlike anything we have faced before," Aguilar said. "It (the terrorist element) is looking for vulnerabilities at every opportunity, looking at ways to impact our economy."
"One of the things we need to do is be pre-emptive, pro-active and prevent (terrorist infiltration, economic terrorism) from happening," Aguilar said. "We have to create a culture of nurturing that (proactive) mindset."
To help bolster security while facilitating lawful trade, Aguilar specifically praised the valuable input from the trade to help improve Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) and the implementation of the Importer Security Filing (10+2) requirement.
For CBP's part, Deputy Commissioner Aguilar recognized the value of working collectively and collaboratively with trade associations such as NCBFAA to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of CBP's trade programs and to constantly teach and learn from each other.
"Communication, outreach and education; that is our commitment to you," Aguilar said, noting that CBP continues to remain open to new ideas without letting tradition get in the way.
The Deputy Commissioner also highlighted the recent appointment of CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin and how he brings his broad skill set gained as a U.S. Attorney, Border Czar and airport authority member in the San Diego and Southwest Border area to his new position.
Aguilar concluded his address by mentioning that CBP looks upon trade groups such as NCBFAA as a critical partner to protecting America, our economic competitiveness and our way of life.
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.