Close the postal security loophole

March 10, 2020

By Juliette Kayyem

The White House recently issued an executive order promising to crack down on international counterfeiting and intellectual property theft. For this commitment to be effective, it is crucial that law enforcement have access to the tools needed to stop these illegal shipments from ever reaching our country in the first place. Unfortunately, a law designed to stop dangerous material sent through the mail, including counterfeit goods, remains unenforced over one year since President Trump signed it into law.

Congress passed the Synthetics and Trafficking Overdose Prevention or STOP Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, and Trump signed it into law in October 2018. If properly enforced, the law would close a security gap frequently abused by counterfeit goods traffickers. It requires packages sent internationally to the U.S. through the postal system to include advance electronic data, used to screen international packages for illegal opioids, potential terrorist risks, and other dangerous material, as has already been required for packages sent through private carriers for nearly two decades.