Bearing the Brunt (A reprint of Vol. XII, Art. 19 … seven years ago today – August 13, 2007)

A bridge over the Mississippi has collapsed and a mine in Utah has caved in, but these terrible events and the resulting fatalities are bumped from Page One by the action taken by Congress last week. Money talks … lives don’t matter.

The National Retail Federation, the Heritage Foundation, the European Union, and the World Shipping Council have all lodged complaints against H.R. 1, and today we’re hearing from the European Shippers’ Council, the Asian Shippers’ Council and the National Industrial Transportation League. It’s all about money … and they’re pretending to be the ones footing the bills.

The Secretary General of the European Shippers’ Council is quoted as saying: “Business will be paying the lion’s share of providing the equipment, but I suspect the biggest cost to shippers will be the costs of delays: we already have the prospect of worsening congestion in many of the world’s container ports as volumes grow year on year. One can only imagine the huge queues that will form when every container has to run through radiation and image scanners. We regret that the U.S. has acted unilaterally and did not await the results of the pilot actions the EU and U.S. customs are about to launch before pressing ahead with this piece of legislation.”

See? It’s “business” that will be paying the lion’s share … not the taxpaying consumer. Clear?

The Chairman of the Asian Shippers’ Council takes a similar tack: “Being the main exporter to the U.S., Asia will be the hardest hit. The enforcement of this ruling will slow down cargo and cause a gridlock at ports and airports. Shippers are likely to bear the brunt of increased costs as carriers exploit their position of strength over shippers in this region of the world.”

See? It’s “shippers” that will bear the brunt of increased costs … not the taxpaying consumer. Clear?

The Executive Vice President of the National Industrial Transportation League expressed concern about the consequences the Congressional bill would have on “trade”. Not on the taxpaying consumer, mind you, but on “trade”.

“This legislation represents a very worrying development that could have disastrous consequences for trade between the United States and its major trading partners. Currently, there is no scanner that we know about that can do the job that the law demands. We also have serious doubts whether all the identified ports which handle containers bound for the U.S. will be able to have the scanners required, or have the space needed to facilitate scanners, with all the holding areas required, and areas needed to place those containers that cause an alarm. In the final analysis the needed technology must be a practical tool which helps and does not hinder the very supply chains we are seeking to protect.”

[We beg to differ. Our patented system is the technology needed and the “practical tool which helps and does not hinder the very supply chains we are seeking to protect.” Please study this website!!]