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Commerce and Department of Homeland Security: A new partnership built on shared principles

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Guest Blog Post by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

About a month ago, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson  and I each sent our respective workforces (around 280,000 people combined) a declaration of joint principles we developed to capture our shared mission.

Today, I want to share this message more broadly. We all owe Secretary Johnson, his leadership team, and the more than 240,000 men and women of the Department of Homeland Security a debt of gratitude for their hard and often dangerous work securing our borders and keeping this country safe.

Secretary Johnson is also keenly aware of the essential role DHS plays every day in facilitating the lawful trade of goods and services—trade that is vital to our economic security and competitiveness, and that is at the core of Commerce’s mission.

DHS and Commerce are therefore key partners in the Administration’s economic growth agenda. During our recent meetings, Secretary Johnson and I have recommitted ourselves to personally overseeing progress in a variety of initiatives that are priorities of both Departments.

One of these is the Loaned Executive Program, an innovative DHS initiative that allows top executive-level talent in the private sector to share their expertise with DHS in areas crucial to trade facilitation, such as logistics, customer service, and line and crowd management.

You will be hearing more about this and other initiatives in the weeks and months ahead, but today I want to share with you the brief statement of principles agreed to by the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security. We will strive to develop policies and deliver services that embody these principles:  

Security and trade are mutually reinforcing

Commerce and public safety are mutually reinforcing.  Promoting the secure and legitimate flow of goods and people—and focusing our resources on preventing the illegal movement of people and goods that pose a potential threat to our citizens, businesses, and our way of life—is good for our economy and our security.

The private sector is a crucial partner in our shared goals of security and economic competitiveness

Government programs and policies that affect the private sector are more effective when designed in collaboration with affected stakeholders—and better executed when they appropriately tap market forces to encourage private investment in public goods.

The public deserves integrity and good service from its government

Competent, efficient, and responsive service must be a priority in all programs that involve direct interaction with the public. Good service facilitates compliance with laws and regulations, eases burdens on people and businesses, enhances the value provided to the nation, and promotes trust in government.

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