President George Bush signed a new border protections bill into law on Friday which will establish a $400 million security grant program and regulate products entering and leaving the US. An unrelated provision also strengthens laws that in effect ban most types of online gambling.
At a morning ceremony at the White House, President Bush signed the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act which is also known as the SAFE Port Act. The law will codify existing port security programs such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
A leading association of retailers applauded the new legislation.
This new law strikes a good balance between addressing security needs and ensuring that legitimate cargo can continue to flow freely through our ports without impeding commerce or the economy, National Retail Federation Vice President Erik Autor said.
The bill also requires the Homeland Security Department to develop plans for resuming trade in the event of an attack.
The gambling provision attached to the bill prohibits players from using credit cards, checks and electronic money transfers to pay for bets.
The signing of the new bill into law today had been expected, causing numerous online overseas gaming businesses to pull out of the U.S. market completely ahead of time.