Every day, almost 1 million packages shipped into the United States from China, Russia, India and other foreign countries go mostly unchecked for dangerous and illegal contents. As we work to keep America safe from another terrorist attack, a security loophole is leaving our communities and families vulnerable to terrorists and bad actors mailing dangerous foreign objects into the country. Because of this loophole, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement receive no advance electronic security data to screen hundreds of millions of the packages that flow into the United States from foreign countries each year.
This loophole allows illegal drugs, counterfeit goods, and other unsafe packages to make their way into our neighborhoods, threatening our families and opening us up to unexpected attacks. As both a national security issue and a public health threat, this gaping hole creates an easy path for children and others to go online and access deadly illegal drugs like fentanyl from countries such as China, Russia and India, fueling a national health epidemic. It also allows terrorists and other bad actors in foreign countries to have direct, unchecked access to our communities and homes. And U.S. businesses are confronting an influx of counterfeit medicine and other goods – all through the global postal system.
- Almost 1 million packages enter the U.S. from foreign countries every day without advance electronic data.
- 28 million packages enter the U.S. from foreign countries every month without advance electronic data.
- 340 million packages enter the U.S. from foreign countries every year without advance electronic data.
Under the Trade Act of 2002, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection should receive advance manifest data on packages entering the U.S., but they currently do not when these packages are shipped via foreign postal services such as China Post, India Post or Russia Post. This data is used by Customs and Border Protection and many other government agencies to target and screen out high risk items. The Air Cargo Advance Screening System (ACAS) took another step to bolster the data program by specifically targeting dangerous goods. While the private sector quickly conformed, foreign posts again have yet to implement these steps.
With the rise of e-commerce, it is easier than ever to get goods from China, India and other foreign countries with the click of a button. We want to close this loophole that’s harming U.S. small businesses by letting foreign bad actors ship in unchecked counterfeit goods. And we need to make sure that foreign posts are playing by our security rules when shipping packages that will ultimately be delivered into our communities. We need President Trump and Congress to insist that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of the Treasury keep our communities safe and enforce the law by requiring foreign posts to submit customs and advance electronic data for shipments imported to the United States. By closing this security gap, we can identify and stop illegal substances before they end up in our country and keep our communities safe from terrorists and other foreign bad actors.