USCIB Cheers Confirmation of Kerlikowske to Head Customs and Border Protection

Gil Kerlikowske served as President Obama’s drug czar prior to being named to head Customs and Border Protection.
Gil Kerlikowske served as President Obama’s drug czar prior to being named to head Customs and Border Protection.

Washington, D.C. March 7, 2014 – The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) welcomed the Senate’s confirmation yesterday of Gil Kerlikowske as Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It said Kerlikowske’s experience and expertise will play an integral role in furthering CBP’s goal of simultaneously securing the border and expediting the at-the-border trade process, which it called vital for the smooth flow of goods.

“Gil Kerlikowske is a wonderful choice to head CBP, which has been vacant for far too long,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson. “His leadership will raise the already excellent standard of work done by Customs and Border Protection.”

Robinson expressed the business community’s gratitude to Thomas Winkowski for his admirable service as acting CBP commissioner, noting in particular his efforts to keep U.S. trade flowing during last fall’s U.S. government shutdown.

Kerlikowske was previously director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and he has served as Seattle’s police commissioner and in the Department of Justice. He brings knowledge of enforcement, safety and Washington State’s trade-based economy to the CBP position.

As an organization active in customs policy and trade facilitation, USCIB hopes to work closely with Kerlikowske and the staff of CBP to continue progress on measures such as the “One U.S. Government at the Border” initiative, Centers of Excellence and Expertise, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism program and the full implementation of the Automated Commerce Environment. Kerlikowske’s confirmation also comes as Customs reauthorization legislation is expected to move forward in Congress this year.

“USCIB and its members have a very ambitious customs policy agenda this year,” said Kristin Isabelli, USCIB’s director for customs and trade facilitation. “Commissioner Kerlikowske’s confirmation enables us to hit the ground running on our priorities, which are essential to continue the growth U.S. trade and the American economy. We greatly look forward to working with him.”

USCIB also administers the ATA Carnet system in the United States for the temporary export of many types of goods. It works closely with CBP officials and field offices to ensure proper training in how Carnets are used. More information on ATA Carnets is available at

About USCIB:

USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More at


Jonathan Huneke, USCIB

+1 212.703.5043 (office), +1 917.420.0039 (mobile),

More on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee


Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
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