CBP official clarifies pre-election statement
Deborah Spero, deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), told a conference of apparel importers Tuesday in New York that a statement in October from CBP regarding container inspections 'was part of our means of dealing with concerns of an impending terrorist attack prior to the presidential election.'
'Six percent of total cargo containers were identified this year as potential threats, and were physically inspected immediately upon arrival. Dramatically increasing physical inspections after arrival is a waste of resources,' the CBP had noted in that statement.
Asked by Shippers' NewsWire if limiting physical inspections of incoming containers would make the public safer, Spero said, 'that was part of what we felt was necessary to be said at that time.'
The pre-election statement had also described as 'a myth' any assertion that 95 percent of containers coming into U.S. ports was not being inspected, a claim made in the second presidential debate by Sen. John Kerry. Spero denied CBP's statement was 'in any way' politically motivated.
'Today, we're in a different climate in regard to the threat level,' she explained.