What Would Trade Sanctions Imposed On China To Put Pressure On North Korea Do To The Price And Availability Of All The Things You Buy?

In light of recent international events, we need to get ahead of what could be significant price increases and restricted availability of supply for virtually all the products we sell.  This week, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation’s made a statement to the U.N. that the U.S. will not allow countries doing business with North Korea to continue to do business as usual with the U.S.  If this becomes a reality, then we could impose high tariffs on Chinese goods or prohibit altogether the importation of certain products from China.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday called for the cessation of trade with any nation that continues to do business with North Korea in violation of U.N. resolutions.

For Chinese goods, this means prices will go up and supply availability will be affected.  The impact on products made in other countries, as well as those made in the U.S, is the same.  If we cannot obtain Chinese-made products, the demand for similar products made everywhere else, including the U.S., will rise.  This higher demand means higher prices in the U.S.  This will not only disrupt the availability of products, but could raise prices by as much as double digit %’s on many of the goods we purchase for you, regardless of where they are made. Add in the additional panic buying by commercial and civilian customers and we know what the impact will be on our products.

Having been in the law enforcement industry for years and with current year Agency budgets ending in the next few months, I believe this is a key time to evaluate our risk in waiting until the last minute to place our fiscal year end purchases, both yours as Agencies and ours as a distributor.   You see – we are in this with you.

CMC Government Supply currently, and has historically, held quote pricing for 30 days.  As this situation in the global and U.S. economy develops in the coming days, we may need to reduce this time frame.  To even consider this is unheard of in our company’s history.

I think of it this way….  The worst case scenario is pricing and availability changes rapidly and without notice, resulting in high prices, long lead times and possibly limited product availability.  The best case scenario is this all gets resolved with business as usual.  However, it is generally accepted that just the anticipation of increased tariffs will impact prices and availability no matter where our products are made.  If this is the case, our industry, like most others, would find it hard to escape the price squeeze.  By placing our orders sooner versus later and locking in current pricing and availability, we can mitigate some of the risk.  This is not a call for increased spending.  It is an appeal for informed decision-making by thinking through the timing of your budgeted purchasing plan.

These are just my thoughts.  Please consider this when planning for your upcoming fiscal year end purchases.  We are in this with you, and will do our best to continue to support you.

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Working with Local Law Enforcement to Share Data

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Group’s (FRG) Video Datacasting Project transmits encrypted live video and data over existing broadcast television signals to a targeted audience within public safety. Users can download data in the field, improving interoperability at minimal cost and effort in the furtherance of public safety. This project is part of FRG’s ongoing efforts to ensure first responders have the tools, technologies, and knowledge they need to save lives and protect property while staying safe.

“Datacasting is a broadcasting mechanism capable of one-to-many content delivery which reduces congestion on public safety agencies’ networks,” said FRG Program Manager Cuong Luu. “This vastly impacts how video and data is currently shared by responders, providing better collaboration, and continuing to leverage current infrastructure costs of the public broadcast television stations.”

When broadcast television transitioned from analog to digital broadcast transmissions, it created the opportunity to allocate television spectrum in new ways. Datacasting takes advantage of a portion of the public broadcasting station’s bandwidth normally used for television programming, resulting in this technology being available to public safety at a very low cost.

Last year, FRG joined Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, SpectraRep, and several Public Broadcasting Service television stations in two successful pilots in Houston, Texas and in Chicago, Illinois. These pilots demonstrated the ability of datacasting to support public safety communications in an operational environment, expanded on current datacasting uses, and determined benefits and limitations.

During the pilot, recipients successfully received all transmissions including alerts, images, files, and live video streams. Participants touted the installation and operation of the system as user-friendly and asked to keep the systems after the pilot exercises concluded. One officer even described datacasting as “a potentially life-saving tool.”

“We have folks that are watching cameras 24-hours a day. So when something happens, they report to the officers what they are seeing. But something always gets lost in translation. The advantage to this is we can send video directly to the officers (and,) they can look at an image and know exactly what they are looking at,” said Chief of Staff for the University of Houston Police Department LT. Bret Collier.

The Houston pilot’s success was publically recognized among top innovators in the security industry as the Grand Platinum winner at the 2015 Secured Cities Exclusive Security Innovation Awards luncheon on November 12, 2015. The pilot was unanimously selected as the top overall security project of the year due to its unique scope and application.

With the completion of these pilots, after action reports with information on the capabilities and potential limitations of the technology have been produced. The Houston and Chicago reports are now available on firstreponder.gov.

FRG is working with Houston so they may keep the equipment in place and continue using it in their daily operations. FRG provides funding and equipment to partners so they can test and use this technology for their public safety needs, but does not collect or store any of the data.

S&T is currently looking to identify other potential public safety partners and pilot locations for 2016 to test additional capabilities. Interested responders should send an email to first.responder@hq.dhs.gov.