Global Supply Chain Security

International trade has been and continues to be a powerful engine of global economic growth. In recent years, communications technology advances and trade barrier and production cost reductions have contributed to global capital market expansion and new economic opportunity. The global supply chain system that supports this trade is essential to the United States’ economy and is a critical global asset. Through the National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security (the Strategy), we articulate the United States Government’s policy to strengthen the global supply chain in order to protect the welfare and interests of the American people and secure our Nation’s economic prosperity. Our focus in this Strategy is the worldwide network of transportation, postal, and shipping pathways, assets, and infrastructures by which goods are moved from the point of manufacture until they reach an end consumer, as well as supporting communications infrastructure and systems. The Strategy includes two goals:

Goal 1: Promote the Efficient and Secure Movement of Goods – The first goal of the Strategy is to promote the timely, efficient flow of legitimate commerce while protecting and securing the supply chain from exploitation, and reducing its vulnerability to disruption To achieve this goal we will enhance the integrity of goods as they move through the global supply chain We will also understand and resolve threats early in the process, and strengthen the security of physical infrastructures, conveyances and information assets, while seeking to maximize trade through modernizing supply chain infrastructures and processes

Goal 2: Foster a Resilient Supply Chain – The second goal of the Strategy is to foster a global supply chain system that is prepared for, and can withstand, evolving threats and hazards and can recover rapidly from disruptions. To achieve this we will prioritize efforts to mitigate systemic vulnerabilities and refine plans to reconstitute the flow of commerce after disruptions. Our approach is informed by the following guiding principles:

  • Galvanize Action – Integrate and spur efforts across the United States Government, as well as with state, local, tribal and territorial governments, the private sector and the international community.
  • Manage Supply Chain Risk – Identify, assess, and prioritize efforts to manage risk by utilizing layered defenses, and adapting our security posture according to the changing security and operational environment.

In support of the Strategy, at the Federal level, we will update our threat and risk assessments; align programs and resources; and engage government, private sector, and international stakeholders. The purpose of this engagement is to seek specific recommendations to inform and guide our collaborative implementation of the Strategy.

The full report on The National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security can be found here.

Global Supply Chain Security

  • Maritime Domain Awareness
    • National Space Policy
  • Port Security Grant Program
  • Cyber Security

The POC for agency efforts in this area is Robert Ford, Acting Director/Office of Security, (202) 366-0223,

Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)

The Department of Transportation designated the Maritime Administration (MARAD) as the Executive Agent (EA) for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The Maritime Administrator assigned this responsibility to the Associate Administrator (AA) for Environment and Compliance. The office serves as the primary support and representative of the AA for the MARAD (on behalf of DOT) commitment to the interagency process. As the EA, the responsibility includes the identification and pursuit of efforts to provide transparency in the marine transportation system, including vessels, cargoes, infrastructure, and people, that facilitate the flow of commerce, while enhancing a safe and secure environment. In this regard, the office endeavors to provide support to all efforts that incorporate (MDA) as an interagency effort to provide situational awareness, and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) acts as a conduit for both government and the private sector to enhance such awareness.

From a transportation perspective, the Office actively seeks ways and means to insure a resilient, integrated U.S. maritime transportation system in a secure environment. The Office works collaboratively with industry as well as local, state and other Federal agencies to develop and encourage best practices and innovative methods to protect our ports, vessels and mariners so they can continue to respond to the economic needs of our Nation. The Office also works as a catalyst among all maritime interests to develop an environment in which partners can embrace and achieve the common objective of obtaining and sharing information to enhance commerce while providing a secure and reliable maritime transportation system.

The Office of Security coordination activities include participation on the National Space Policy (PPD-4) MDA Work Group, the National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC) Interagency Advisory Group (NIAG) and the CANUS (Canada-US) MDA Roundtable to enhance understanding and cooperation on MDA issues common to both countries.

The POC for agency efforts in these areas of concern is Robert Ford, Acting Director/Office of Security, (202) 366-0223,

National Space Policy (PPD-4)

Specifically, on June 28, 2010, President Obama signed the National Space Policy, (PPD-4). Among other things, the policy calls for “all departments and agencies to ensure the United States maintain and enhance space based Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) systems, strengthen interagency partnerships through cooperation, collaboration, information sharing and alignment of common pursuits”.

Of special significance to the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the policy also states that “Departments and agencies shall identify potential areas for international cooperation that may include . . . . environmental monitoring; satellite communications; GNSS; geospatial information products and services; disaster mitigation and relief; search and rescue; use of space for maritime domain awareness . . . . .”

The National MDA Coordinating Office (NMCO) and interdepartmental/interagency participants formed an Implementation Team Work Group and assigned representatives from their respective staffs  to develop an implementation strategy for the development of a multi-national architecture that integrates data collected by civil and commercial space systems from a number of nations in support of global maritime awareness. The Implementation Team, chartered by the NMCO in October 2010, has developed a proposal as to how to achieve this strategy and high-level system architecture. The proposal, entitled “Program Recommendation for Implementation Action #1” (Recommendation), recommends the content and structure of a cost effective program, responsive to the Presidential Directive and is based on the hypothesis that enlisting the distributed capabilities and capacity of the world’s civil and commercial space systems will further enhance U.S. maritime domain awareness.

Consistent with the guidance in PPD-4, the recommendation proposes to:

  1. Demonstrate U.S. leadership to identify areas of mutual interest and benefit;
  2. Encourage global MDA interoperability to enhance maritime safety and security and to promote maritime commerce
  3. Facilitate new market opportunities for U.S. commercial space capabilities, including commercially viable terrestrial MDA applications that rely on government-provided space systems
  4. Promote appropriate cost- and risk-sharing among participating nations in international partnerships; and
  5. Augment U.S. MDA capabilities by leveraging existing and planned space capabilities of allies and space partners.

The Recommendation has been presented to a National Security Staff (NSS) joint Maritime and Space Interagency Policy Committee (IPC) for approval. All interagency members have been  asked to focus on how their efforts could be brought into an international collaboration focused on developing a global maritime awareness capability based on commercial space systems.

The POC for agency efforts in this area of concern is Robert Ford, Acting Director/Office of Security, (202) 366-0223,

More information on the National Space Policy can be found here.

Port Security Grant Program

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), assists in the allocation of Congressional funding of grants to U.S. ports as a means to enhance port security in the United States. The program is a federal and private shared-cost arrangement administered in cooperation with DHS and other federal agencies. The Office of Security helps to review applications and to distribute funding on a competitive bidding process.

Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. Congress has appropriated over $2.1 billion in competitive grants provided to U.S. seaports under a program financing the cost of enhancing national port security. The purpose of the Port Security Grant program is to help defray the costs of implementing the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), which created new statutory requirements in port and vessel security. When the new MTSA regulations were implemented in July 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard estimated the private sector compliance costs at $6.8 billion over 10 years: $5.4 billion for port facility security and $1.4 billion for vessel security. The program is structured as a shared responsibility between the Federal Government and the private sector, with applicants required to pay 25-50 percent of projects’ costs. This partnership between federal and private interests is considered crucial to make the United States more secure.

The Port Security Grant Program’s four primary partners include the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and three agencies in DHS: the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which administers the grant program; the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The program has seen an evolution in emphasis from individual terminals toward port-wide (and regional) risk management and mitigation planning and coordination.  Types of projects funded include TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential), cameras, lighting, canines, gates, boats, fencing, communications equipment, detection sensors (chemical, biological, radiological, explosives), and floating barriers to name a few.

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has played a key role in the grant program since its inception in 2002. It is the only non-DHS agency involved in the program. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) brings a commercial viewpoint to the application review and approval process. It also is the principal federal agency in the process that considers the impact of security measures on movement of the nation’s commerce. The Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) gateway offices and headquarters have been actively involved in the Port Security Grant program by reviewing and analyzing applications, recommending project selections and funding levels, as well as making policy recommendations.

The POC for this area of concern is Brandon Cummo (202) 366-2277,

Cyber Security

Cyber Security represents another area of focus for the Maritime Administration (MARAD) in Global Supply Chain Security. Specifically, the Office of Security works with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that the United States maintains a safe and secure environment for its citizens domestically and abroad. In February of 2003, President Bush published the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace which provides a framework for protecting the interdependent network of information technology that is essential to our economy, security, and way of life.

The POC for this area of concern is Brandon Cummo (202) 366-2277, More information can be found on the Department of Homeland Security’s website located here.