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Majority of Voters Believe It Is Time to Close the Dangerous Security Loophole Allowing Millions of Unscreened Packages Into the U.S. Every Year

Today, Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) released a new survey showing that a majority of American voters believe it is time to close a security loophole that allows almost a million packages a day to enter the United States without the vital electronic data relied upon by federal agencies to target packages containing dangerous and illegal contents.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) released a new survey showing that a majority of American voters believe it is time to close a security loophole that allows almost a million packages a day to enter the United States without the vital electronic data relied upon by federal agencies to target packages containing dangerous and illegal contents. The survey, conducted by Morning Consult, also shows increased support for closing the security gap once voters learn more about its role in allowing terrorists, drug traffickers, and other bad actors to ship dangerous goods including weapons, biohazards and toxic drugs to Americans’ doorsteps in communities across the country.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 85 percent of voters are unaware there is a loophole that allows foreign postal services to ship goods into the country through the United States Postal Service without submitting advanced electronic security data to federal agencies.
  • 80 percent of voters are very or somewhat concerned about terrorists using the loophole to attack our country.
  • 75 percent of voters are concerned the loophole is helping to fuel the opioid and substance abuse epidemic, including 50 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans.
  • After learning about the national security and health implications of the loophole, support for closing the loophole jumps from 68 percent of voters to 82 percent of voters. 68 percent of voters also say that taking action will make it harder to ship weapons, drugs or biohazards into the U.S.
  • 71 percent of all registered voters – including 78 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Independents – believe that closing the loophole will make the U.S. more safe.

“Fifteen years after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that came via the postal system, American homes and businesses remain vulnerable to possible danger from unscreened packages originating from foreign posts,” said Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security and senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages.  “Now this longstanding security gap is enabling additional threats including the distribution of illicit drugs in our communities.  What will it take to get Congress and the Administration to act?”

“In today’s political environment, it’s hard enough for Americans to agree on anything. However, the Morning Consult poll clearly shows that both Republican and Democratic voters believe law enforcement and federal agencies need to have adequate electronic data to effectively target drug traffickers, terrorists and others seeking to bring harmful substances and toxic hazards into our country,” said Juliette Kayyem, Senior Adviser to Americans for Securing All Packages. “The safety of our families depends on us taking action and addressing this outdated security oversight.”

Currently, intelligence and law enforcement agencies do not receive vital security data for approximately 90-percent of all packages shipped into the United States. Under the Trade Act of 2002, Congress authorized the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to receive advance electronic security data on all packages entering the United States.

While the private sector, including businesses like FedEx and UPS, quickly adopted technology to conform to these security requirements and have been shipping packages with this necessary electronic security data, foreign posts have failed to follow suit. Currently foreign posts ship approximately 340 million packages through the USPS to the United States every year without this advance electronic data.

About the Poll

Morning Consult conducted a poll among a national sample of 1961 registered voters September 6 through September 8, 2016. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status and marital status. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

About Americans for Securing All Packages

Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) is a bipartisan coalition composed of health care advocates, national security experts, businesses and nonprofits who believe it is time for the U.S. government to take action and ensure that all packages being shipped to the United States from any foreign postal service are adequately screened before arriving on the doorsteps of unsuspecting Americans.

Learn more about ASAP by visiting SecurePackages.org or following @SecurePackages on Twitter.