Higgins Introduces International Supply Chain Security Legislation
WASHINGTON – House Homeland Security Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member Clay Higgins (R-La.) today introduced H.R. 3719, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Reauthorization Act of 2019 to update Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) flagship international supply chain security program. The CTPAT Reauthorization Act of 2019 would reauthorize the program for the first time in more than 13 years, improve information sharing and collaboration with industry, and improve program management.
Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Former Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Vern Buchanan (R-Flor.) joined Higgins in introducing the bill.
“Reauthorizing the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program allows CBP and private industry partners to better address new and evolving security threats impacting the international supply chain. The reforms in our legislation ensure efficient trade and provide CBP with greater authority to enforce the program’s security criteria,” Higgins said. “This reauthorization has strong, bipartisan support from members of Congress and private industry. I am hopeful it will quickly advance through committee and to the full House.”
“CTPAT plays a critical role in ensuring the security of our international supply chain,” Rogers said. “This legislation not only reauthorizes the program for the first time in more than 13 years, but it makes meaningful reforms to reflect current industry practices and 21st century threats to our supply chain. I thank Ranking Member Higgins for his leadership on this issue and am hopeful the committee will act on it in short order.”
“My district is home to the largest inland port in the United States, conducting over 60 percent of all U.S.-Mexico trade. Currently, increased wait times at the U.S.-Mexico border are impacting our economy and safety,” Cuellar said. “Pre-vetting companies will ensure that our ports of entry can continue processing cargo through our borders efficiently and securely. I am proud to co-sponsor this bipartisan piece of legislation that will increase security at our southern border while reducing wait times at our ports of entry. I would like to thank Congressmen Rogers, Buchanan, McCaul and Higgins for their work to improve our country’s national security and economic prosperity.”
“I am pleased to join with my colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and modernize this important program to meet the evolving challenges of the 21st century. It is a critical partnership for CBP and the trading community to counter terrorism, protect our borders and strengthen international supply chains,” Buchanan said. “I’d like to thank Reps. Higgins, McCaul, Cuellar, and Rogers for their leadership on this bill, and I look forward to its swift passage in Congress.”
“Since 2001, the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program has—through its public-private partnership—enhanced security of the international supply chain. Under this voluntary program, companies work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to identify security gaps and implement best security practices to protect the United States from the threats that currently face the international supply chain,” McCaul said. “Reauthorizing this program will expand eligibility for more companies and entrepreneurs, require critical safety updates, and protect industries to mitigate economic hardships and expand security protections. I am glad to support this legislation again this Congress, and I am confident it will clear the committee.”
The Border Trade Alliance and Express Association of America have publicly endorsed reauthorization of the CTPAT program.
"Since the program’s inception, the BTA has been a vocal CTPAT supporter and strong advocate for the promotion of greater dialogue and information sharing between the trade community and Customs and Border Protection. We share in the belief that we can strengthen supply chains against criminal acts while also expediting cargo processing at our ports of entry," said Britton Clarke, President of the Border Trade Alliance. "This legislation makes important updates to the program to make it reflective of today’s trade environment while ensuring that tangible benefits to participants are not diminished."
“The CTPAT Reauthorization Act is the most significant legislative expansion of trade facilitation measures in several years,” said Michael Mullen, Executive Director of the Express Association of America (representing DHL, FedEx, and UPS). “By defining and increasing the benefits of CTPAT membership, the bill will prove to be an impetus for more companies to join the program with a subsequent increase in supply chain security.”
The CTPAT Reauthorization Act of 2019 is a part of the American Security Agenda, an initiative by Homeland Security Committee Republicans to provide DHS with the resources and authorizations it needs to combat the rise of cyberhackers, rival nation-states, and emerging threats to the homeland.
For a one-pager on the CTPAT Reauthorization Act of 2019 click here.
For text of the CTPAT Reauthorization Act of 2019 click here.
To read Border Trade Alliance’s letter of support click here.
To read Express Association of America’s letter of support click here.
Background: CTPAT is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program started in 2001 to strengthen the international supply chain and improve U.S. border security. More than 11,500 entities – including importers, exporters, customs brokers, forwarders, air, sea, and land carriers, contract logistics providers, and others — participate in the program. In exchange for working with CBP to identify security gaps and implementing minimum security criteria, participants receive benefits including fewer CBP examinations, shorter wait times at ports of entry, and more.