• Protect U.S. borders by enhancing our inspection, detection, monitoring and interdiction efforts, seeking stiffer criminal penalties for smuggling, and targeting law enforcement resources more effectively against smugglers.
• Deny safe haven to international criminals by negotiating new international agreements for evidence sharing and prompt arrest and extradition of fugitives (including nationals of the requested country), implementing strengthened immigration laws to prevent criminals from entering the United States and provide for their prompt expulsion when appropriate, and promoting increased cooperation with foreign law enforcement authorities.
• Counter international financial crime by combating money laundering and reducing movement of criminal proceeds, seizing the assets of international criminals, enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation against financial crime, and targeting offshore sources of international fraud, counterfeiting, electronic access device schemes, income tax evasion and other financial crimes.
• Prevent criminal exploitation of international trade by interdicting illegal technology exports, preventing unfair and predatory trade practices, protecting intellectual property rights, countering industrial theft and economic espionage, and enforcing import restrictions on harmful substances, dangerous organisms and protected species. In fiscal year 1997, the Customs Service seized $59 million in goods and $55 million in currency being taken out of the country illegally.
• Respond to emerging international crime threats by disrupting new activities of international organized crime groups, enhancing intelligence efforts, reducing trafficking in human beings (involuntary servitude, alien smuggling, document fraud and denial of human rights), crimes against children, and increasing enforcement efforts against high technology and computer-related crime.
• Foster international cooperation and the rule of law by establishing international standards, goals and objectives to combat international crime and by actively encouraging compliance, improving bilateral cooperation with foreign governments and law enforcement authorities, expanding U.S. training and assistance programs in law enforcement and administration of justice, and strengthening the rule of law as the foundation for democratic government and free markets.
The growing threat to our security from transnational crime makes international law enforcement cooperation vital. We are negotiating and implementing updated extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties that reflect the changing nature of international crime and prevent terrorists and criminals from exploiting national borders to escape prosecution. Moreover, since the primary motivation of most international criminals is greed, powerful asset seizure, forfeiture and money laundering laws are key tools for taking action against the financial underpinnings of international crime. Increasing our enforcement powers through bilateral and multilateral agreements and efforts makes it harder for criminals to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. At the Birmingham Summit in May 1998, the leaders of the G-8 adopted a wide range of measures to strengthen the cooperative efforts against international crime that they launched at their summit in Lyon two years ago. They agreed to increase cooperation on transnational high technology crime, money laundering and financial crime, corruption, environmental crimes, and trafficking in drugs, firearms and women and children. They also agreed to fully support negotiations on a UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, which will broaden many of the efforts underway among the G-8 to the rest of the international community.
No area of criminal activity has greater international implications than high technology crime because of the global nature of information networks. Computer hackers and other cyber-criminals are not hampered by international boundaries, since information and transactions involving funds or property can be transmitted quickly and covertly via telephone and information systems. Law enforcement faces difficult challenges in this area, many of which are impossible to address without international consensus and cooperation. We seek to develop and implement new agreements with other nations to address high technology crime, particularly cyber-crime.
We are making a concerted effort at home and abroad to shut down the illicit trade in firearms, ammunition and explosives that fuels the violence associated with terrorism, drug trafficking and international crime. The President has signed legislation amending the Arms Export Control Act to expand our authority to monitor and regulate the activities of arms brokers and we have intensified reviews of applications for licenses to export firearms from the United States to ensure that they are not diverted to illicit purposes. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has tightened up proof of residency requirements for aliens purchasing firearms from dealers in the United States, and ATF and the Customs Service have intensified their interdiction and investigative efforts at U.S. borders.
In the international arena, the United States is working with its partners in the G-8 and through the UN Crime Commission to expand cooperation on combating illicit arms trafficking. In November 1997, the United States and its partners in the Organization of American States (OAS) signed the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms—the first international agreement designed to prevent, combat and eradicate illegal trafficking in firearms, ammunition and explosives. We are now negotiating an international agreement that would globalize the OAS convention. Additionally, the ATF and Customs Service have provided training and assistance to other nations on tracing firearms, combating internal smuggling and related law enforcement topics.
We have shown that with determined and relentless efforts, we can make significant progress against the scourge of drug abuse and drug trafficking. In the United States, drug use has dropped 49 percent since 1979. Recent studies show that drug use by our young people is stabilizing, and in some categories, declining. Overall, cocaine use has dropped 70 percent since 1985 and the crack epidemic has begun to recede. Today, Americans spend 37 percent less on drugs than a decade ago.
That means over $34 billion reinvested in our society, rather than squandered on drugs.
The aim of the U.S. National Drug Control Strategy is to cut drug availability in the United States by half over the next 10 years—and reduce the consequences of drug use and trafficking by 25 percent over the same period—through expanded prevention efforts, improved treatment programs, strengthened law enforcement and tougher interdiction. Our strategy recognizes that, at home and abroad, prevention, treatment and economic alternatives must be integrated with intelligence collection, law enforcement and interdiction. Its ultimate success will require concerted efforts by the public, all levels of government and the private sector together with other governments, private groups and international organizations.
Domestically, we seek to educate and enable America’s youth to reject illegal drugs, increase the safety of America’s citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime and violence, reduce health and social costs to the public of illegal drug use, and shield America’s air, land and sea frontiers from the drug threat. Working with Congress and the private sector, the Administration has launched a major antidrug youth media campaign and will seek to extend this program through 2002. With congressional support and matching dollars from the private sector, we will commit to a five-year, $2 billion public-private partnership to educate our children to reject drugs.