Americans for Securing All Packages Statement on the U.S. Postal Service Opioid & Illicit Drug Strategy Act
Washington, D.C. (December 6, 2019) – In response to the introduction of the U.S. Postal Service Opioid & Illicit Drug Strategy Act in the U.S. Senate by Senator Gary Peters and Senator Mitt Romney, Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) issued the following statement from Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to ASAP:
“We are grateful for the efforts of Senators Peters and Romney, and the members of Congress who are committed to fighting illegal drug trafficking through the global postal system. It’s crucial that these efforts include not only passing new legislation but also implementing and enforcing existing laws that prevent drug shipments through foreign postal networks.
“Congress passed the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act in 2018 to provide law enforcement agencies with the security data needed to screen and stop dangerous material sent through the international mail, including fentanyl and other deadly opioids. Over one year later, federal agencies have missed the STOP Act’s key deadlines even as the opioid epidemic continues to take American lives. As Congress looks for new ways to fight back, it must also ensure that laws like the STOP Act are strictly upheld so efforts to turn the tide of this deadly epidemic can be effective.”
The STOP Act requires that all packages entering the U.S. through the international postal system include advance electronic data, or AED, as was already required for private carriers. While the law mandated AED on 100 percent of packages entering from China and 70 percent of foreign packages overall by the end of 2018, a bipartisan Senate letter found federal agencies, including the postal service, fell short. Even as we near 2020, these deadlines still have not been met.
As a result, law enforcement officials lack the AED they should have by law and will face serious hurdles in keeping dangerous shipments out of the U.S. The USPS and the Department of Homeland Security were also required to issue regular reports on their progress and AED compliance to Congress, but these have not been made public, leaving the American people in the dark on this major security issue.