Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David Aguilar said he will build on the agency’s accomplishments of the last two years and continue the innovations started by his predecessor.
“I think it is an understatement to say that innovative efforts have been undertaken over the last couple of years,” Aguilar said. “We are setting a path forward to ensure that we do not step back in any way. The foundation has been set, now we continue to build on it.”
Aguilar last month succeeded Alan Bersin, who resigned last month after Congress failed to confirm his appointment as commissioner. Bersin steered the 58,000 employees agency toward greater emphasis on facilitating trade and forged closer times with the trade community that has been sceptical of Customs’ motives in years past.
Aguilar, who took the post Dec. 29, said the agency will continue to expand Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism to an “all-threats," ranging from narcotics to intellectual property theft. In addition to moving forward on simplified entry process work, Customs will keep developing the Automated Commercial Environment and work toward decommissioning the older Automated Commercial System.
“One thing has to be clear: we are the regulators,” Aguilar said. “But at the same time we have a responsibility to build toward efficiencies, toward identifying means to drive costs down to the industry and trade community.”
Bersin was tapped as the assistant secretary for international affairs at the Department of Homeland Security last week. Aguilar said that Bersin’s broader portfolio precludes him from taking an active role in Customs policy.