Stronger Public-Private Partnerships Needed to Fight Cross-Border Security Threats Copyright Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Stronger Public-Private Partnerships Needed to Fight Cross-Border Security Threats

A top-down government approach won’t protect interests that span the public and private sectors.

The global economy has empowered criminals and terrorists to take advantage of weaknesses in top-down government controls, and thus threaten global supply chains, says a task force of industry leaders and national security experts in a report put together by the Stimson Research Center. The report, “Making Public-Private Security Cooperation More Efficient, Effective and Sustainable,” lays out seven steps to close security gaps in global trade:

• Reward “trusted exporters” of sensitive goods and technologies;

• Empower logistics service providers to increase “return on

investment” for both government and industry;

• Modernize the information-sharing toolkit for trade transparency and risk management;

• Promote layered port security through the SAFETY Act and Resilience STAR Program;

• Develop a public-private “playbook” for resilient trade flows;

• Extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and consider future changes;

• Fully implement the International Trade Data System.

“Without such bold changes, both public and private interests are likely to suffer a growing toll from this insidious and intermingling array of threats, including the especially grave threat of nuclear proliferation,” the report states. “Top-down regulatory and enforcement tools cannot keep pace with contemporary technological change or with the speed and volume of global freight movement. Achieving genuine security amid a range of complex cross-border threats requires new partners and new models for engaging those partners. Perhaps most important, it requires a deep and diverse set of industry partnerships.”

Jay Cohen (RADM, USN, Ret), who chaired the Partners in Prevention Task Force, said U.S. exports are key to action in the near term.

“We wanted to connect the strategic imperative with pragmatic steps forward,” he added. “Given industry’s rising interest in the global marketplace, along with several major US government initiatives of relevance, U.S. exports deserve top billing in current efforts to align security goals with economic competitiveness.”
 
The task force recommendations are the result of an 18-month Stimson collaboration with hundreds of industry partners spanning high-tech manufacturers and service providers, transport and logistics firms, and insurance providers.

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