World's Y2K Problems Could Affect US : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is for all the polly's that think the US is an island.

While Year 2000 computer problems appear to have been solved at the US Customs Service, the appearance of the Y2K bug in both foreign countries and non-Customs, US-based systems like power or telecommunications, could affect the flow of goods in and out of the US, several government officials said today.

In testimony before the House Committee on International Relations' Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade, the Department of Commerce's John McPhee said more government and private sector officials around the world are moving quicker than six months ago in fixing their respective Y2K problems.

But in the next six months, though, "you'll see people preparing for possible problems, in terms of ordering extra supplies and (having on hand) extra inventory," he said.

Additionally, the US might see a spike in exports, as other countries try to build their supplies, McPhee said, adding that the concept of "just-in-time" inventory management and manufacturing could be set aside by many companies until 2000.

McPhee is the director of the Office of Computers and Business Equipment Trade Development at the Commerce Department's International Trade Association.

McPhee also said that small- and medium-sized enterprises - the companies that play a substantial role in most economies - "lag behind in addressing the Y2K problem."

In citing a recent Commerce Department report on the Y2K problem as it relates to the global trading system, McPhee said countries must "cooperate and share information on the Y2K problem to minimize Y2K disruptions in the international trade arena."

The Commerce Department has already implemented an "outreach effort" on both the domestic and international fronts to combat possible Y2K problems, including holding outreach conferences and distributing a CD-ROM-based self-assessment tool.

"The Y2K problem is not only a technical issue, but most important, it is a management challenge," McPhee said. "Management at the highest levels of an organization, government and nation must lead the efforts and allocate the necessary resources to address the problem."

The US Customs Department's mission-critical computer systems may be Y2K compliant, said S.W. "Woody" Hall Jr., the agency's assistant commissioner and chief information officer. But those systems "do rely on the public utility and communications infrastructure. A major failure of these systems could cause a disruption to Customs operations," he said.

Hall also said he was "confident" in the nation's telecommunications infrastructure, although he did have reservations about some of the end-user equipment connected to the network.

-- y2k dave (, July 08, 1999


Also on this topic is this from the Department of Commerece: cb5b3db231dd9b85256759004baaa5?OpenDocument

"The Year 2000 Problem And The Global Trading System"

-- Linkmeister (, July 08, 1999.

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