Cargo containers pose threat to U.S. security

What others say

Posted: Monday, May 03, 2004

The 6 million cargo containers that are shipped to the United States each year represent an enormous soft spot in our nation's security.

Terrorists trying to get dirty bombs or chemical and biological agents into this country might well turn to cargo containers, especially since only a small percentage of them are inspected.

That's why screening containers before they arrive here is so important. It's encouraging to see the European Union cooperating with U.S. efforts.

The United States and the E.U. signed an agreement ... that will increase the number of foreign ports that allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspectors to screen such cargo.

Teams of U.S. inspectors already operate in nine foreign seaports, but this agreement will add another 10 or 11 ports by the end of the year.

... Still, a more comprehensive plan is preferable for economic and security reasons, and it's good to see that both trading blocs are moving in that direction.

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans - April 24

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