Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Secret Service, Really?

So the President has named a successor to Commissioner Bonner. Drum roll please . . . It is not me!

No, it is W. Ralph Basham, Director of the Secret Service, of all things. I have no insight by which to judge the quality of the nominee and would not do so here any way. But, it is going to be interesting to see how his experience translates into a job which, we must remember, is at least in part still about facilitating legitimate trade. Will a guy who was once responsible for protecting the Vice President really want to focus on whether Customs needs to go through the process of formally revoking a ruling it made in error (as was partly the question in International Custom Products at the CIT); or whether the Periodic Monthly Statement process is ready for portal and non-portal accounts; or the hundred other things commercial interests worry about?

Again, I have no reason to doubt that Mr. Basham is up to the task. He seems to have had a distinguished career in law enforcement and Customs is in the law enforcement business. I also know that he will have good, experienced, career Customs officials to work these commercial issues with him. We in the trade community will wait and see.

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