Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime


Mr. Brennan:
Good morning, everyone. My name is John Brennan,
Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism
and Homeland Security. And I am pleased to welcome
you here this morning for our announcement of the Obama
administration’s new Strategy to Combat Transnational
Organized Crime. Just over a year ago, we
released President Obama’s National Security Strategy. That strategy commits this
administration to the pursuit of four enduring national
interests: security, prosperity, respect for universal values,
and the shaping of an international order that
can meet the challenges of the 21st century. One of the most significant
of those challenges is the expanding size, scope, and
influence of transnational organized crime and its impact
on U.S. and international security and governance. This morning we want to discuss
the threat of transnational organized crime and how this
administration is working aggressively to combat it. We’re fortunate to be joined
by leaders in this effort from across the federal government:
Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of Homeland
Security Janet Napolitano; Under Secretary of State for
Political Affairs William Burns; Under Secretary of Treasury
for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen; Deputy
Administrator of USAID Don Steinberg; and the Director of
the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske. We also have in the audience
leaders of many of the U.S. departments and agencies that
will be instrumental in carrying out this new strategy. We are joined by Director
of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI
Director Robert Muller, as well as representatives from
the Department of Defense, Customs and Border Protection,
the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, Treasury’s Office of
Foreign Assets Control, the United States
Secret Service, as well as the
intelligence community. And we also have members of
the diplomatic corps as well as representatives of state
and local law enforcement organizations,
academia, industry, congressional committees, and
nongovernmental and civil society organizations, including
those who dedicate themselves to protecting the victims of
transnational threats. Thank you for the vital work
you do every day as well as for being here today. In December 2010, the United
States government completed a comprehensive intelligence
assessment of international crime. That assessment concluded that
in the previous 15 years. transnational criminal networks
have forged new and powerful alliances and are engaged in an
unprecedented range of illicit activities that are
destabilizing to nations and populations around the globe. Transnational criminal networks
are striking alliances with corrupt elements of national
governments — including intelligence and security
personnel — and they use the power and influence of those
elements to further their criminal activities. Transnational crime
threatens the world economy. The sophistication and business
savvy of these criminals permit them to enter markets and
undermine legitimate competition and market integrity, which can
damage and distort financial systems and legitimate
competitiveness. Transnational criminals also are
stealing intellectual property, which is not only bad for
business but can be deadly, especially in the cases of
counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Terrorists and insurgents also
are increasingly turning to crime and criminal networks
for funding and logistics, including kidnap for
ransom to generate funding. Drug trafficking organizations
feed off the global demand for illicit drugs, which fuels the
power, impunity and violence of criminal organizations internationally. And human smuggling and
trafficking-in-person networks are a worldwide scourge growing
ever more violent and lucrative, exploiting the most
vulnerable among us, especially women and children. This is the threat that our
strategy aims to address. Our strategy is clear
in purpose and intent. In the words of the message
accompanying the strategy from President Obama: “This strategy
is organized around a single, unifying principle:
To build, balance, and integrate the tools of
American power to combat transnational organized crime
and related threats to our national security — and urge
our partners to do the same.” Now, our strategy sets out
five overarching objectives. First, protect Americans and
our partners from the harm, violence, and exploitation
perpetrated by transnational criminal networks. Second, help partner countries
strengthen governance and transparency, break the
corruptive power of transnational criminal networks,
and sever state-crime alliances. Third, break the economic power
of transnational criminal networks and protect strategic
markets and the U.S. financial system from criminal
penetration and abuse. Fourth, defeat criminal networks
that pose the greatest threat to national security by targeting
their infrastructures, depriving them of
their enabling means, and preventing the
criminal facilitation of terrorist activities. And fifth, build
international consensus, multilateral cooperation, and
public-private partnerships to defeat transnational
organized crime. To this end, our strategy sets
out 56 specific priority actions in several key areas. We start here at home by taking
a hard look at what actions the United States can take within
its own borders — such as reducing illegal drug use,
taking swift action against corruption, and severing the
illicit flow of money and weapons across the Southwest
border — to lessen the threat and impact of transnational
crime domestically as well as on our foreign partners. This sense of shared
responsibility is a theme that is woven
throughout our strategy. In implementing this strategy,
President Obama is determined to use every tool at his disposal. Indeed, our strategy is
accompanied by several new initiatives, including a series
of important legislative proposals and a rewards program
to help capture the world’s top transnational crime figures. Yesterday President Obama signed
an executive order designed to block all assets and property
under U.S. jurisdiction of designated major transnational
organized crime organizations that threaten the critical
interests of the United States. Yesterday, the President also
signed a new proclamation barring admission to the United
States of persons designated under this executive order and
other comparable programs. The proclamation also provides
additional legal authority for barring admission to the United
States of persons subject to United Nations Security
Council travel bans. So, again, on behalf
of President Obama, thank you for being here
today and thank you for your continued partnership. And now it is my pleasure to
introduce the Attorney General of the United
States, Eric Holder. Attorney General Holder:
Good morning. And thank you, John. It’s a privilege to join with
you and with so many other key leaders and crucial partners
as we unveil a cutting-edge, comprehensive strategy that will
take our nation’s fight against transnational organized
crime to the next level. Now, of course, the problem of
transnational organized crime and their networks is not new. But after a wide-ranging,
year-long review — the first study of its kind in more than
15 years — our understanding of what exactly we’re up against
has never been more complete or more clear. And our efforts to prevent
and to combat transnational organized crime have
never been more urgent. In recent years, the Justice
Department has strengthened our fight against these criminal
organizations and expanded on our successful
counternarcotics work. By establishing the
International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations
Center, or IOC-2, as we call it, we are now coordinating the
efforts of nine federal law enforcement agencies in
combating transnational organized crime networks. We’ve also tapped the leaders
of these agencies to serve on the Attorney General’s
Organized Crime Council. And, to bring additional
resources to bear, we recently merged the organized
crime and gang sections within the Department’s
Criminal Division. Each of these steps will help to
advance the new strategy that we are announcing today. They also reflect the fact
that addressing transnational organized crime is no longer
just a law enforcement issue. It is a problem that demands the
attention — and the assistance — of a broad
spectrum of partners. With this new strategy, leaders
across government and law enforcement are signaling
our commitment to combat transnational organized crime
by sharing information and expertise as never before —
by paving the way for broad international cooperation and by
developing legislative solutions that we need to address
21st-century threats. Now, one of the centerpieces of
this strategy is a series of legislative proposals designed
to enhance the tools that the Justice Department — and our
law enforcement partners — can bring to bear in the
fight against transnational organized crime. These proposals will help to
ensure that our statutory landscape is up to date,
and that prosecutors and investigators have the
capacity to keep pace with the unprecedented threats
posed by criminal enterprises that target the United States
— including those that operate beyond our borders. These essential legislative
updates would improve our ability to break the
financial backbone of criminal organizations
by extending the reach of anti-money laundering provisions. They also would enhance our
ability to identify and to respond to the most common and
evolving tactics and methods of communication that criminal
organizations use to conceal their illicit operations
and their profits — which, too often, are used to bankroll
drug trafficking and even terrorist activity. By modernizing current
racketeering laws and expanding their reach to cover
new forms of crime, we will enhance our ability
to advance cases against transnational organizations
crime groups that engage in diverse criminal activities,
including illegal weapons trafficking, health care
and securities fraud, and violations of the Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act. And because we know that many of
these organizations have long been involved in counterfeiting,
the White House Office of the United States Intellectual
Property Enforcement Coordinator has developed a series of
proposals that seek to address the most egregious intellectual
property crimes committed by criminal enterprises —
including illegal activities that threaten our
nation’s infrastructure, and the health and safety
of our fellow citizens. Now, I have every confidence
that the implementation of this new strategy and the advancement
of our legislative proposals will strengthen cooperation
among relevant authorities; advance our fight against
organized crime networks no matter where they operate, and
allow us to build on the record of progress that has been
achieved in recent years. Once again, I’d like to thank
my colleagues across this administration for their
commitment to the goals and the responsibilities that we share. I look forward to
working with them, as well as with
leaders in Congress, to ensure that prosecutors and
investigators have access to the tools that they need to
protect the American people. I’m grateful to count each
one of you as partners, and I’m proud to stand
with all of them. I look forward to what we
will accomplish together in the days ahead. And now I’m pleased to turn
things over to a dedicated leader in this work
and my good friend, Secretary Janet Napolitano. Secretary Napolitano:
Thank you, Eric. I am also glad to be here today
with my colleagues and with those in the audience who
also do this important work. And I am going to address
the Department of Homeland Security’s role in
this new strategy. Combating transnational
organized crime is an integral part of the Department
of Homeland Security, with thousands of men and women
in the department doing this work every day. It’s especially relevant to the
work we’ve been doing along the Southwest border, where the
transnational organized criminal activity of drug cartels
is a major concern. This administration has
dedicated an unprecedented amount of resources to disrupt
and dismantle the drug cartels who smuggle illegal substances
as well as human beings across our borders. We have dedicated historic
levels of manpower, technology, and infrastructure to this task,
and it has had clear effects. Over the past two
and a half years, CBP and ICE have seized
75 percent more currency, 31 percent more drugs, and 64
percent more weapons along the Southwest border as compared to
the prior two and a half years. This is important progress,
and we want to continue to build on it. The new Strategy to Combat
Transnational Organized Crime offers a road map for how we
can move forward together to coordinate and strengthen the
good work that has been so critical to our success thus far
and that will lead to additional progress in the future. For example, the strategy
emphasizes the use of specialized intelligence centers
to coordinate the collection and analysis of intelligence
regarding various aspects of the threat of
transnational crime. In November, the administration
established the Border Intelligence Fusion Center of
the El Paso Intelligence Center, which provides U.S.
law enforcement, border enforcement and investigative agencies with the intelligence
necessary to aid in their work along the Southwest border. The strategy makes clear the
importance of this kind of approach and lays out
how we can expand on it. The strategy also emphasizes
international partnerships, which are essential to combating
what is fundamentally a transnational problem. In support of the strategy, ICE
is implementing a new “Illicit Pathways Attack Strategy,” to
prioritize and integrate its authorities and resources in a
focused and comprehensive manner to attack criminal organizations
along the entire pathway, the entire continuum of crime,
both at home and abroad. ICE will work with
its federal, state, local and foreign partners
to expand task force models overseas that support
cooperation and coordination. It’s already proven successful
through BEST teams. The strategy also supports an
integrated approach to criminal investigations that make sure
when a criminal organization is investigated, our approach is a
comprehensive one — one that incorporates financial, weapons,
and corruption investigations. The United States Secret Service
has played a major role, using partnerships to protect
the nation’s financial infrastructure through the
Electronic Crimes Task Force and the Financial Crimes Task Force. In fiscal year 2010, the Secret
Service arrested over 8,000 suspects for counterfeiting
and financial fraud, with a fraud loss well
over $500 million. This strategy lays out an
important path forward that builds upon our progress
in combating transnational organized crime, both in terms
of the Southwest border and in terms of the other
threats we face. Together and with this
strategy as our guide, we will continue the historic
progress we’ve seen over the past two and a half years. And now I’d like to welcome
another one of our partners to the podium, the Under Secretary
of State, William Burns. Under Secretary of State Burns:
Thank you very much.
And good morning. The Department of State is very
proud to be a part of this outstanding interagency effort. We are strongly committed to
continued close coordination in implementing the President’s
Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. Organized crime, in its many
forms, is a threat to decent, hardworking people
across the world. It empowers warlords, criminals,
and corrupt officials. It erodes stability, security
and good governance. It undermines legitimate
economic activity and the rule of law. It undermines the integrity of
vital governmental institutions meant to protect
peace and security. It costs economies tax
revenue and promotes a culture of impunity. It undercuts our fight
against poverty and slows sustainable development. Societies have faced
criminal threats throughout human history. Today, however, we face them in
a globalized, networked world. Terrorists and insurgent groups
are turning to partnerships of convenience with
criminal networks. Global markets for drugs fund
the weapons of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the
FARC in Colombia. Supplies of illegal Latin
American drugs are making their way across West Africa. In the tri-border area of
Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, individuals with connections to
violent extremist groups have been active in drug
trafficking, human trafficking, arms trafficking,
and money laundering. The President’s strategy will
build and integrate the tools of American power to combat
transnational organized crime, while also recognizing
that we cannot do it alone. The United States must continue
to play a strong leadership role, together with
committed partners, in mobilizing international
resources to address emerging threats. Today, the State Department
supports a wide range of bilateral, regional, and global
initiatives to enhance the law enforcement capacity
of foreign governments. We are developing innovative
partnerships with governments, like the Central Asia
Counter-narcotics Initiative, the West Africa Citizen
Security Initiative, and the Central America
Regional Security Initiative to coordinate investigations,
support prosecutions, and build our collective
capacity to identify, disrupt, and dismantle transnational
organized crime groups. We are working with the G8, the
G20, the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, APEC,
the ASEAN Regional Forum, the African Union, and the OAS
to strengthen law enforcement, judicial, legal, and
correctional institutions. We are intensifying our efforts
to build international consensus and improve multilateral
cooperation to combat transnational crime, and are
promoting more effective public-private partnerships,
such as our partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to fight
corruption and illicit trade of dangerous counterfeit medicines
that harm our communities. History teaches us that
cooperation against organized crime can bring
transformative change. Ten years ago, large parts
of Colombia were controlled by terrorist and
criminal organizations. But through collective action by
the United States and Colombia, the Colombian people
reclaimed their territory, their security and their future. Today, Colombia’s police train
other forces across the region and around the world. And through the Merida
Initiative, the U.S. is partnering with Mexico to
strengthen its law enforcement, judiciary and correctional
institutions and bring security to communities south
of our own border. The strategy unveiled today
includes two important new tools for the Department of State to
combat transnational organized crime — a presidential
proclamation and a new proposed program on Transnational
Organized Crime Rewards. First, the proclamation will bar
admission to the United States of persons designated under
a new executive order that establishes a sanctions program
to block the property of significant transnational
criminal organizations that threaten U.S. security, foreign
policy, or our economy. The proclamation also provides
additional legal authority for barring admission to the United
States of persons subject to United Nations Security
Council travel bans. Second, the new program on
Transnational Organized Crime Rewards will build on the
success of our Narcotics Rewards program to encourage cooperation
in bringing the most dangerous transnational criminal leaders
to justice through cash rewards leading to their
arrest or conviction. We will use these measures to
continue to put criminals and corrupt officials on notice
that their crimes will have a serious consequence. We will deny them safe
haven and dismantle their criminal infrastructure. Secretary Clinton has often
spoke of the need to build what she calls a “global architecture
of cooperation” to solve the problems that no one
country can solve alone. Certainly, this is true of
the challenge before us. Transnational organized crime
is a threat that endangers communities across the
world, including our own. The State Department
remains determined, working closely with all of
our interagency partners, to translate common interest
into common action that makes all of us safer. And now it’s a pleasure to
introduce my friend and colleague, the Under Secretary
of the Treasury, David Cohen. Under Secretary of Treasury Cohen:
Thank you, Bill. And good morning. It is my great privilege to be
here today to help unveil the President’s Strategy to Combat
Transnational Organized Crime. As we all know, the United
States and many other countries have prospered greatly
from globalization and financial integration. But there is also a dark
side to globalization. While the world
now seems smaller, and commerce and transactions
have become freer and faster, transnational criminal
organizations have exploited these advancements to expand
their operations and influence, and to evade justice. As our global economy and
financial systems have grown more sophisticated
and inter-dependent, they’ve also become more
vulnerable to criminal organizations and their
illicit financial activities. One of the Treasury Department’s
core duties is to safeguard and protect the U.S. economy and
financial system from abuse by all those who would seek
to harm it, manipulate it, or undermine its integrity,
including transnational criminal organizations. This is the foundation
of Treasury’s national security mission. To fulfill this mission,
Treasury pursues a multifaceted strategy, including efforts
to identify and address vulnerabilities in
the financial system, and leverage financial
information and intelligence to take targeted and powerful
action against those who threaten our financial
system and economy. The strategy we are announcing
today will provide new impetus and new tools for the Treasury
Department’s efforts. One key part of the strategy
is an executive order that President Obama just signed that
provides new powers to attack the threat that significant
transnational criminal organizations pose to
our national security, foreign policy, and economy. The Treasury Department is
employing these new powers by implementing sanctions today
against four significant transnational criminal organizations. First, the Brothers’ Circle,
also as the Moscow Center, which is a multiethnic criminal
group composed of leaders and senior members of several
criminal organizations largely based in countries of
the former Soviet Union. Many Brothers’ Circle’s members
share a common ideology based on the thief-in-law tradition,
which seeks to spread their brand of criminal influence
around the world. Second, the Camorra, which is
a very large Italian organized crime group earning roughly
$25 billion each year from illicit activities. It operates internationally
and engages in serious criminal activity,
such as counterfeiting, smuggling pirated goods,
and drug trafficking. Third, the Yakuza of Japan, with
an estimated 80,000 members, engages in serious
criminal activities, including narcotics and
weapons trafficking, and a variety of
white-collar crimes. The Yakuza uses front companies
to hide illicit proceeds within legitimate industries, including
construction, real estate, and finance. And finally, an already
designated drug kingpin organization, Los Zetas, is an
extremely violent transnational criminal organization
based in Mexico. Los Zetas transports large
amounts of illegal narcotics through Mexico into the United
States and is responsible for numerous murders, both in Mexico
and in the United States, including members of
U.S. law enforcement. Sophisticated transnational
criminal organizations like these engage in a wide
variety of serious criminal revenue-generating activity. Their integration into the
financial and commercial system makes them ideal
targets for economic and financial sanctions. With the new executive order,
Treasury has the authority to go after the economic power of
transnational criminal networks and those individuals and
entities who work with them, enable them, and support them,
by freezing any assets they may have within the United States,
prohibiting any transactions through the U.S. financial
system, and making it a crime for any U.S. person to engage
in any transactions with them. In addition to the
new executive order, the President’s strategy also
includes a commitment to work with Congress to adopt
legislation that would require disclosure of beneficial
ownership information in the company formation process. If enacted, this legislation
would facilitate transparency of the financial system and enhance
the effectiveness of our new executive order by making it
more difficult for criminal organizations to hide
behind front companies and shell corporations. I’d like to express my gratitude
to John Brennan for driving this initiative, and to our
colleagues across the government who played critical roles in the
development of this executive order and who will be key
partners as we go forward. Transnational criminal
organizations are principally motivated by financial gain. That is a major vulnerability
that the new executive order and the broader strategy
will allow us to exploit, striking at the heart
of their economic power. And with that, I’d like to
turn it over to my friend, Deputy Administrator
Don Steinberg. USAID Deputy Administrator Steinberg:
Thank you. The U.S. Agency for Intelligence
Development is proud to use its efforts to promote global
development and to build stable societies around the world in
support of this Strategy to Combat Transnational
Organized Crime. This past September, President
Obama offered the first-ever presidential policy
directive on development. This forward-looking policy
statement makes clear that international development
is in our national interest. It’s in our economic interest
because it creates exports and jobs for Americans. It aligns with our value
structure in that we seek a world that is peaceful, that
is prosperous and democratic. But most relevant to today,
international development promotes our national
security as well. Transnational organized crime
affects nearly every country, but fragile, poor and
conflict-affected states are most vulnerable and most
victimized by organized crime, in particular as sites for
trafficking in persons, drugs and weapons. Such activities
threaten the social, political and economic security
of the most vulnerable members of developing societies,
and they threaten us. Organized crime is a cancer
that eats from within at the credibility and legitimacy
of national governments. It deprives nations of
much needed investment. It squeezes out legitimate
businesses from access to key markets, and it increases the
cost of development to all of the citizens of those nations. Helping developing countries
protect themselves from organized crime will make the
world a safer place and it will protect Americans as well. At USAID, we’re addressing
this challenge through a comprehensive approach to
strengthen the capacity of governments, businesses and
civil society institutions to resist the corrupting
influence of organized criminal enterprises. This involved a multi-pronged
approach to assist law enforcement, to promote
judicial reform, to encourage transparency
and oversight, to combat corruption and to
strengthen social fabric. For example, USAID, the State
Department and the Department of Justice have been applying
this approach in Latin America through the Merida Initiative,
through the Central American Regional Security Initiative,
and other regional and bilateral assistance programs. There’s a long way to go,
but so far the results have been promising. Our work in Latin America has
helped reduce crime and violence in hot spots, generated scalable
programs to promote resilient communities and regions, and
promoted concrete actions for anticorruption, and
transparency in national, state and local governments. Similarly, USAID’s efforts to
combat human trafficking are grounded in a multidimensional
framework — protection, prevention, prosecution
and partnership. These programs, including
education and economic growth assistance efforts, help
create an environment in which trafficking cannot survive. Trafficking is not only a crime
and a human rights abuse, but also a development problem,
exacerbated by poverty, lack of access to
education and employment, ethnic and gender
discrimination, weak rule of law and conflict. These are the same challenges
USAID addresses every day in its global mission. Coordinating with a broad
range of stakeholders, we’ve provided $160 million in
over 70 countries to combat human trafficking
over the past decade, and we’re ramping up
these efforts through a intergovernmental approach under
our new Center for Democracy Human Rights and Governance. In conclusion, transnational
organized crime destroys the institutional frameworks
in which it operates. As part of a whole of
government approach, USAID welcomes the launch of
today’s comprehensive strategy and is proud to play our role
in combating transnational organized crime. Now, I’d like to introduce Gil
Kerlikowske from the Office of National Drug Control
Policy to take us home. Director Kerlikowske:
Thanks, Don. Well, first let me thank the
team that put all this together. It’s an incredible team,
unbelievably talented people in these agencies that
contributed to the strategy, and they’re also working every
single day to protect the people in this country. And I thank them for their
hard work and certainly their patriotism. The strategy builds on
work that’s been done over many years. It includes steps
taken under previous presidential administrations. And we’re delighted to
see some people here, former officials that are
here in the audience today. It’s also benefited from the
work of experts across the nation and around the globe in
law enforcement and industry, think tanks, NGOs, civil
society organizations. Well, we have a lot of
work to do together. And I look forward to
working with John Brennan; I look forward to working with
my interagency colleagues in overseeing the implementation
of the strategy. We also recognize the major
role that drugs play in funding transnational crime, and
criminal groups around the globe that are involved in
drug trafficking generate over $320 billion in annual
revenue — and that’s according to the United Nations. Globalization, expanding
transportation networks, rapidly improving communications
technology enable these groups to diversify into these
illicit businesses. We know that our response
has to include new tools and stronger international
cooperation, but also a great interagency partnership. We have to commit ourselves to
reducing the use of illegal drugs here at home. As others have said, it’s
a shared responsibility. It threatens public health and
it supports criminal activity not only within the United
States but within the borders of other countries
throughout the world. The administration is
committed to reducing that U.S. demand for drugs. And on July 11th, I released the
administration’s National Drug Control Strategy for 2011, and
that complements this strategy being released today, the
Transnational Organized Crime Strategy — coordinates
unprecedented government-wide efforts in public health and
education to reduce drug use and its consequences. The administration’s
new strategy emphasizes community-based
prevention programs, the integration of drug
treatment into the health care systems, innovations in the
criminal justice system that break the cycle of
drug use and crime, and international
partnerships to, again, disrupt transnational drug
trafficking organizations. The National Drug Control
Strategy also emphasizes working with our international partners
to reduce illicit drug use in their own countries, which is a
problem that often accompanies and then, of course, enables
transnational organized crime. Well, state and local law
enforcement also play an incredibly vital role in
combating transnational crime. And it’s great to see some of
my former colleagues from law enforcement that are
joining us today, and I thank them for coming. And as a former police chief
and a career law enforcement officer, I know firsthand that
transnational criminal networks don’t recognize any borders. Our citizens are directly
impacted not only by international drug
trafficking groups, but by foreign fraud schemes,
counterfeit products, counterfeit prescription drugs,
violent acts carried out by transnational groups
within our nation. In this strategy, the first
chapter is called “Start at Home,” and it calls on federal
agencies to expand cooperation with state and local agencies
and to ensure that information they need to protect
their citizens is rapidly disseminated. In turn, the federal agencies
clearly recognize the information and expertise
possessed at the state and local level, whether it is shared
through task forces, whether it’s through the
interagency information fusion centers, or other mechanisms. Well, in order to address the
national security threat posed by transnational
organized crime, we need to build this new
framework for cooperation at home and around the globe. And this strategy is a
critical first step toward that important goal. We have a lot of work to do
in implementing the strategy, working with Congress to enact
the legislative proposals that were announced today. On behalf of the White House,
thank you very much attending today’s event.

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