Technology & Trade

Market Power: Adapting Public and Private Roles for Transnational Commerce and Transnational Threats

in Program

There is urgent need for a “new normal” in public-private relationships on security issues. This report aims to kick-start a new dialogue on making that a reality.

Nate Olson and Brian Finlay of Stimson’s Managing Across Boundaries Initiative describe why illicit trafficking threats demand enhanced public-private coordination that benefits both industry and government.

Understanding industry's value drivers is one of the keys to sustainable public-private coordination.

Understanding industry’s value drivers is one of the keys to sustainable public-private coordination.

Governments never will act at the speed of 21st-century innovation and commerce. Achieving genuine security amid a range of complex transnational threats therefore will require new partners and new models for engaging those partners. Better leveraging the private sector’s capabilities and expertise will be essential. Drawing on more than a year’s worth of confidential discussions with industry — including dual-use technology manufacturers, radiopharmaceutical companies, supply chain and logistics firms, and insurance providers — Olson and Finlay outline the first crucial steps the US government must take to that end:

  • enhancing knowledge of industry’s economic and political landscape;
  • understanding the full range of industry’s value drivers; and
  • diversifying government’s “portfolio” of interagency and public-private coordination tools.

The report suggests several areas where there is near-term potential for concrete action. In the months ahead, the Managing Across Boundaries Initiative will highlight further opportunities for action through the work of the Partners in Prevention Task Force and related outreach.

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