The economy is made up of buyers and sellers and includes all the things that we make in our factories and sell to other countries, and the things we buy from other countries. It also includes things we buy from and sell to each other, like trucks and trains that move stuff from factories to stores, farms that grow the food we eat, and boats and planes that take things we make to other countries. The economy includes jobs we have and money we have in the bank. Everything we make, or buy, or sell, or do, is part of the economy. One of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) biggest jobs is to protect this country’s economy. Here are some of the ways it does that.
Trade laws help make sure that everybody plays by the rules when it comes to buying and selling things. Some businesses might try to sell fake products, or try not to pay the taxes they owe, or maybe steal some business secrets. DHS checks the things (called goods) coming into and going out of the U.S. to make sure they are safe and ensure that businesses follow the rules.
The economy depends on the transportation system—the planes, trains, boats, cars, trucks, subways, and other things—that move people and the things we buy and sell around. DHS works with other government agencies to protect the train stations, airports, bridges, ports, and highways to make sure the economy keeps moving.
Lots of goods move aboard ships and big flat-bottomed boats, called barges. The U.S. Coast Guard is the part of DHS that keeps our waterways safe and open for business. The Coast Guard patrols our rivers, lakes, and oceans with small boats, big ships, planes, and helicopters. They guard our coasts to make sure nobody tries to sneak drugs, other bad things, or people into our country. The Coast Guard takes care of light houses, buoys, and other navigation devices. They use icebreakers to keep frozen waterways open. DHS rescues people from sinking boats or natural disasters and enforces laws on the waters near the United States. The Coast Guard also protects fish, manatees, whales, and other marine life from polluters, illegal fishing, and other threats.