NORTH HOUSTON– Businesses with interest in international trade heard presentations last Friday from experts with the FBI, US Customs and Border Patrol, and CTPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism).
This unusual and highly informative seminar and luncheon was sponsored by the Houston Intercontinental Chamber of Commerce, and held at the DoubleTree Hotel on JFK Boulevard. The seminar format allowed the audience to participate and ask questions regarding their particular trade problems. They also had the opportunity after the formal remarks to meet with the trade representatives afterward.
The program was opened by Kirby Sanford, chairman of the Chamber and the economic committee. The morning seminar consisted of representatives from the department of Homeland Security, presenting various aspects of International Trade & Compliance. These included Leslie Luczkowski of US Customs & Border Patrol, Craig Carnes on Supply Chain Security, Dennis Willey of CTPAT- Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, and Ted Garner. After the seminar, detailed questions from the floor were addressed, including required paperwork, counterfeit goods possibilities and enforcement, and how to proceed with international trade if you are inexperienced (answer: use a broker with experience to start).
The keynote speaker was Mike Anderson, the white crimes supervisor of the Houston FBI, on the “Enron Impact”. Enron was essentially a trading company, not an energy company, and exposure of their lies and accounting tricks has made all international traders and federal oversite agencies more aware and more diligent in their trade practices.
Anderson headed a two city, 45 agent investigation over several years that eventually ended up with the successful prosecution and jail for most of the leadership of Enron.