The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 5, 2004

Fact Sheet: Protecting America's Seaports and Securing Cargo Shipments

February 5, 2004

Protecting America's Seaports and Securing Cargo Shipments

February 5, 2004

Today's Presidential Action

In remarks on the War on Terror at the Port of Charleston,

South Carolina, President Bush highlighted his commitment to

protecting the homeland, including America's ports and

increasing cargo security.

The President's FY 2005 budget requests resources for many

important homeland security priorities. It includes a 9.7%

increase in government-wide homeland security funding over FY

2004, nearly tripling the FY 2001 levels. It also includes a

$3.6 billion (10%) overall increase over FY 2004 for the

Department of Homeland Security (DHS), doubling funding for DHS

programs since FY 2001.

The President's budget demonstrated his commitment to port

and cargo security. It includes:

o $1.9 billion for DHS-wide port security efforts, an

increase of 13% ($224 million) over FY 2004 and 628%

($1.6 billion) over FY 2001. These funds include $102

million for the Coast Guard to implement the Maritime

Transportation Security Act of 2002, which sets security

standards for certain vessels, port facilities, and

critical offshore platforms.

o A total of $6.6 billion to maintain and enhance

border security activities, a 7% ($447 million) increase

over FY 2004 and a 70% ($2.7 billion) increase over FY


Background: Protecting America's Seaports and Securing Cargo Shipments

The U.S. maritime transportation system is vital to the global economy. Over 95% of non-North American trade enters the country through U.S. seaports, and our seaports handle over $740 billion and 2 billion tons of domestic and international freight annually. Foreign vessels make 50,000 port calls annually.

Our seaports and maritime transportation infrastructure face a myriad of threats from the vessels, people, and cargo that move through them. Consistent with our approach to the overall War on Terrorism, our approach to seaport security calls for a layered defense that starts far beyond our mainland.

Supporting the Coast Guard: The FY 2005 budget request includes a 9% (nearly $500 million) increase for the United States Coast Guard, bringing total Coast Guard funding to $6.3 billion (a 64% increase over FY 2001).

Ensuring Security Before Cargo Ships Reach Port: These

funds include $102 million for implementation of the Maritime

Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA). This initiative

will enable Coast Guard to develop, review, and approve vessel

and facility security plans, ensure foreign vessels are meeting

security standards, enhance its intelligence capacity, and

provide underwater detection capability to Maritime Safety and

Security Teams.

Upgrading Coast Guard Ships and Technology: The budget

also continues support for the Coast Guard's Integrated

Deepwater System acquisition program, which is systematically

replacing the Coast Guard's aging fleet of vessels, aircraft,

and command and control systems. The FY 2005 budget funds

Deepwater at $678 million, an increase of $10 million over the

FY 2004 level.

Improving Information and Intelligence: The Coast Guard's

maritime domain awareness programs will help us better

understand what transits through or near our nation's waters.

MTSA regulations require certain commercial vessels to install

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) by the end of 2004. AIS

devices broadcast certain vessel information that helps

identify and locate vessels in our maritime domain. The Coast

Guard is on schedule to have AIS capabilities at each of its

Vessel Traffic Service locations by the end of 2004, and is

working towards a long-term goal of nationwide AIS coverage.

Moreover, the Coast Guard established COASTWATCH, a process

through which the intelligence community analyzes all-source

information and intelligence on ships, crew, and cargo to

identify security threats. Information from the intelligence

community then helps the Coast Guard and other agencies to

institute appropriate control measures before these vessels

reach our seaports.

Increasing Cargo Screening and Border Security: The President's FY 2005 budget requests $450 million in new funding to maintain and enhance border security activities, including funding to expand pre-screening activities for cargo containers overseas, and for capabilities to better detect individuals attempting to illegally enter the United States. There are many important seaport and cargo security programs:

The Container Security Initiative (CSI) allows DHS to

pre-screen cargo before it reaches our shores. The FY 2005

budget requests an increase of $25 million over the FY 2004

funding level. These funds will support CSI expansion into

additional high-volume ports.

Radiation detection monitors are used to screen passengers

and cargo coming into the United States. The FY 2005 budget

includes $50 million for the next generation of radiation

screening devices.

To better identify high-risk cargo and passengers, the

budget includes an increase of $20.6 million for staffing and

technology acquisition to support the National Targeting Center

(NTC) as well as additional Customs and Border Patrol targeting

systems, which are used to review advance manifests and other

information to determine which shipments are higher-risk and

require closer examination.

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT)

leverages public/private partnerships to improve security along

the entire supply chain, from the factory floor, to foreign

vendors, land borders, and seaports, while expediting border

processing for legitimate shipments. The FY 2005 budget

includes an increase of $20 million for C-TPAT. This

initiative will allow for the development and approval security

plans, ensuring foreign vessels arriving in the United States

are in compliance with the new standards, and enhance its

intelligence and surveillance capabilities.

Providing Grants for Port Security: The Department of Homeland Security's Port Security Grant Program provides resources for security planning and projects to improve dockside and perimeter security. In the last round of grant awards, some 442 projects in 326 locations from across the Nation received $179 million in funding. DHS also awarded an additional $245 million for port security in FY 2003. The President's FY 2005 budget provides $46 million for additional port security grants.

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