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ASAP Urges Agencies Acting Under President Trump’s Public Health Emergency Declaration to Address Synthetic Drugs in the Mail

Congress and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis must support the STOP Act to help cut off the influx of deadly drugs mailed from abroad

Washington, D.C. – Following President Trump’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency, Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) calls on the federal and state agencies acting under the president’s directive to address the flow of deadly synthetic drugs that enter the country through the international mail.  We are encouraged that the President mentioned on-going federal government efforts to address the flow of opioids coming into the country.  We call attention to the major loophole in United States trade and security law that currently allows over one million packages to enter the country each day without the advanced electronic data needed to screen and stop illegal and dangerous goods. While private carriers must, by law, provide this data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the United States Postal Service is exempted from this requirement, providing a pipeline for traffickers and other criminals to ship illicit and counterfeit goods from abroad, and CBP has said publicly that this electronic data is critically important in any effort to stop opioids from entering the country through the global postal system.

 

Therefore, as the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis prepares to issue its first report following the public health emergency declaration, ASAP urges the commission to include a recommendation to pass the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. This legislation would provide Customs and Border Protection with the means needed to target suspicious packages by requiring the same advanced electronic data as those sent through private carriers. The bill has wide bipartisan support, with 26 co-sponsors in the Senate and 242 in the House of Representatives, and is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and the American Medical Association

 

“President Trump’s leadership on this issue shows that his administration understands the magnitude of this health crisis, and is considering all possible steps towards a solution,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to ASAP. “For treatment and recovery to be successful, we must also focus on preventing addictive and deadly drugs from entering the country in the first place. Closing the postal loophole is a vital step in fulfilling the president’s goals outlined in his declaration.”

 

“With the president calling for new measures to address the opioid crisis, the presidential commission’s upcoming report must include concrete action on illegal shipments of synthetic and counterfeit opioids,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to ASAP. “The STOP Act is a critically important bipartisan solution to this major security gap, and we hope all agencies seeking an end to this national tragedy will support its swift passage and implementation.”

 

Supporting the STOP Act would be consistent with the commission’s first interim report, which advised the administration to “support federal legislation to staunch the flow of deadly synthetic opioids through the U.S. Postal Service,” and would complement the efforts facilitated by the president’s public health emergency declaration. President Trump has also personally spoken of the need to close the loophole, stating on the campaign trail that his administration would “crack down on the abuse of the loopholes in the Postal Service to literally mail fentanyl and other drugs to users and dealers in the United States.”