Container security worth the cost?

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jun 30, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: One trillion dollars. That could be the price tag if there was a terrorist attack using a WMD at a major US port. To prevent that potentially massive blow to global trade, several businesses like GE and Mitsubishi have formed a consortium. Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: The companies say they’ll be able to agree on the best technology for container security by September.

Kim Peterson is president of maritime security company Seasecure. He’s glad big business is tackling shipping security, but says its motives aren’t entirely altruistic.

KIM PETERSON: “This new organization has been created in order to potentially impede more draconian security measures that might come from governments such as the United States.”

Defense expert James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation says the US should resist strict regulations. He says even if every container were secureda€¦

JAMES CARAFANO: “I don’t think people should be looking at this as a silver bullet that’s gonna make us safer. People should really start considering the opportunity costs, because if we as a global economy spend $30, 40 billion on container security, what are the other things we could be doing with that $30, 40 billion?”

Carafano says that money would be better spent pursuing suspected terrorists.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.