STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT: Report of the International Commission on Crime and Security in U.S. Seaports
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)
                           For Immediate Release
                             September 7, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     I am pleased to receive the report of the Interagency Commission on
Crime and Security in
 U.S. Seaports.  In April 1999, I directed the Secretary of the Treasury,
the Attorney General, and the
 Secretary of Transportation to establish the Commission to undertake a
comprehensive study of the
 nature and extent of crime in our seaports and the state of security in
those seaports.  I also direct the
 Commission to review the ways in which Federal, state and local
governments are responding to
the problem, and develop recommendations for improving law enforcement and
crime prevention.

     Seaports are a key component of our Nation's Marine Transportation
System and serve as
 major gateways for international commerce.  As barriers to trade and
travel are reduced and volumes
 of international cargo and passengers continue to grow, opportunities for
criminals to exploit or
disrupt maritime commerce increase.  It is thus essential that we maintain
effective security and
border control measures to thwart criminals seeking to use our seaports for
 terrorism, fraud, theft,
or smuggling of illegal drugs, migrants, weapons and other contraband.

     The Commission's report documents the current crime problem in
seaports, identifies
present and projected security threats, and recommends a number of useful
measures aimed
at reducing the vulnerability of maritime commerce and its supporting
infrastructure.  The Chief of
Staff has initiated a review of the Commission's recommendations, with a
view to implementing
them as appropriate.

     I would like to commend Secretary Summers, Attorney General Reno, and
Secretary Slater
 for their leadership in this important initiative.  I would also like to
express my appreciation to
co-chairs Commissioner Ray Kelly of the U.S. Customs Service, Administrator
 Clyde Hart of the
U.S. Maritime Administration, and Assistant Attorney General Jim Robinson,
Department of Justice,
to their fellow commissioners, and to the professional staff for their
vision and hard work in carrying
out this initiative.

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