Trade and Economic Security

America’s economic prosperity depends increasingly on the flow of goods and services, people and capital, and information and technology across our borders – both visible and invisible. The challenges the United States faces from an interconnected world have never been more significant. As we see from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the American public has been impacted in various ways; and many of those challenges are rooted by previously unforeseen vulnerabilities to our nation’s economy.

The Office Trade and Economic Security (TES) establishes policies that enable the lawful flow of goods and services, people and capital, and information and technology across our borders; and position DHS to effectively counter threats to U.S. entities engaged in global commerce. TES functions include protecting the U.S. economy from nefarious foreign investors as well as the facilitation and enforcement of legitimate trade and travel.

Economic Security

The Economic Security Policy team leads Departmental policies and processes focused on safeguarding America's economic integrity and competitiveness in the global marketplace. The Office – through its Foreign Investment and Risk Management team - is the Departments' primary representative to the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and Team Telecom. It manages the associated caseload and risk mitigation process and engages in cross-cutting policy development in collaboration with other PLCY offices and Components.

To respond to current and future threats and support whole-of-government efforts, the Office of Trade and Economic Security at DHS promotes both prosperity and security by enabling the lawful flow of goods and services, people and capital, and information and technology across our borders; and positioning DHS to effectively counter threats to U.S. entities engaged in global commerce. This mission is consistent with DHS’s

Simply put, economic security is homeland security. DHS plays a crucial role in proactively identifying and addressing the harmful influence on U.S. economic actors or sectors that would result in a geopolitical disadvantage to the United States and limit U.S. persons, companies or entities from prospering in the global economy.

The centralized DHS Office of Economic Security at DHS possesses 4 pillars:

  1. Policy & Outreach: The Office leads strategy and establishes policies for the Department that fulfills its economic security mission and dual imperative to secure the homeland and facilitate lawful trade and travel. DHS collaborates frequently with and welcomes contribution from the private sector to source topics of concerns and areas of vulnerability.
  2. Analysis & Assessments: DHS Economic Security coordinates with DHS components and offices – including DHS I&A Economic Mission Center, CBP Trade Operations & Intelligence, CISA, TSA, ICE Homeland Security Investigations, and FEMA -- to proactively determine and address threats. DHS also actively collaborates with the interagency to better posture its resources and formulate government-wide strategy.
  3. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States: DHS plays a lead role in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee that reviews mergers, acquisitions, or takeovers which could result in foreign control of a United States business, to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States. DHS leverages intelligence and analysis to manage the associated caseload and risk mitigation process.
  4. Team Telecom: DHS is formally designated - by Executive Order - as a member of the U.S. Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (known as Team Telecom), which is tasked with advising the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on national security and law enforcement concerns related to certain license applications from companies with foreign ownership or controlling structures. DHS is responsible for completing the first draft of any risk-based analysis and mitigation agreement for any matter involving submarine cable or other communications critical infrastructure. DHS employees analyze and assess key equities, report on impacts to policy and formulate recommendations to leadership.

Trade Enforcement and Facilitation

International commerce is critical to America’s economy, and the entire world. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Components are committed to keeping it safe and vibrant through its trade enforcement and facilitation mission. This includes efforts in drug interdiction, combatting counterfeits, safeguarding E-Commerce, and the monitoring the broader movement of goods across the U.S. northern and southern borders.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Office of Trade

CBP’s Office of Trade

CBP’s Trade Priorities

Intellectual Property Rights

IPR Page

HSI IPR Center

Fraud and Counterfeiting

Frand and Counterfeiting

Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

Forced Labor

Forced Labor Webpage

HSI Forced Labor Program Fact Sheet

“Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA)

On August 2, 2017, the President signed into law the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (Public Law 115-44) (CAATSA), which imposes new sanctions on Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Various publications from the Department of State and the Treasury Department have provided program specific documents related to CAATSA.

CAATSA Title III Section 321(b) FAQs

The Economic Security Mission Center

The Economic Security Mission Center (ESMC), within the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, provides intelligence to drive decisions and define the Department’s intelligence equities in the economic security space. The ESMC provides intelligence on trade, finance, transportation activity harmful to domestic industry and evading U.S. trade laws. Its intelligence informs foreign engagement, trade policy and other economic security decisions. It also regularly interface with the Department of Treasury, DHS Trade Policy, DHS Components, and partners in the Intelligence Community (IC).

Last Published Date: September 9, 2020

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