Increased regulation isn't the answer

COAC is right to cite the overkill inherent in current government security and regulatory policy. Since 9/11, there have been no incidents. That means we've been doing a good job, or more likely, that our enemies recognize that trying to inhibit international trade is of minimal benefit to the average terrorist organization.

A prominent scientist, Dr. D.A. Henderson (the man who helped eliminate smallpox in the world) offered the opinion that we can only protect ourselves so far, that certain vectors, for example, are impossible to interdict, much less control, so we have to live with the reality of the problem, and go on with our lives. I guess the uninspected containers that remain on piers is as good an example of operational futility as any.

We seem to think that regulation solves all problems. For example, I've been reading about the Federal Maritime Commission's decision limiting the types of NVOCC agents, and increasing the licensing requirements.

I can't help but recall talking to a former chairman at an NCBFAA convention and opining that the FMC was as useful as the late unlamented Interstate Commerce Commission - and finding that he concurred!

Let's hope the next administration puts Customs back into Treasury where it belongs, and starts looking at deregulating international commerce by inhibiting or, better still, eliminating the FMC.

M. Sigmund Shapiro


Samuel Shapiro & Co.