by: Jill Morrison, December 30, 2005 5:12:00 am
Each year, imports bring in an estimated $49.9 billion. And the Port of Houston is a vital hub in the global trade network. But the GAO report revealed the programs meant to increase port security after 9-11, aren't working. This means the people of Galveston County and the surrounding areas could be vulnerable to containers bringing in terrorists or dangerous arms. Commissioner Robert Bonner of U. S. Customs and Border Protection testified before Congress defending current inspections.
But the GAO found the problem is U. S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents who rely too heavily on foreign compliance and fail to inspect all high risk cargo before it reaches U. S. Territory. Republican Texas Senator John Cornyn says more security doesn't have to hurt the economy.
But along with the intellingence is technology. High powered x-ray machines and the ability to scan cargo in transit are proposals under consideration.