National Security Experts Laud New Bipartisan House Bill to Close Dangerous Security Loophole in Global Postal System
Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) calls on Congress to keep Americans safe by closing security loophole that allows 340 million packages unscreened into the U.S. each year
Washington, D.C. – Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) commended Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard Neal (D-Mass.) today for introducing bipartisan legislation that would require electronic security data on all packages shipped to the United States. This new House bill adds to similar legislation that was introduced in the Senate last week.
Under the Trade Act of 2002, Congress authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection to receive advance electronic security data on all packages entering the United States. While private sector couriers including FedEx and UPS quickly adopted the enhanced security method, the U.S. Postal Service and foreign posts have failed to follow suit. To this day, foreign posts ship approximately 340 million packages to the United States each year without adhering to adequate security measures.
“A longstanding hole in the global postal system is creating a pipeline for deadly drugs to flow into our communities and leaves Americans vulnerable to a range of hazardous materials sent unscreened to the U.S.,” said Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Senior Adviser to Americans for Securing All Packages. “Even as local officials are overwhelmed by overdoses, lethal drugs are still easily accessible with just the click of a mouse. We need to close this loophole to stop this public health epidemic and keep Americans safe.”
Today, only 10 percent of all packages shipped to the United States include advance security data to allow intelligence and law enforcement agencies to effectively screen for weapons, illicit drugs and hazardous materials, leaving 90 percent of all parcels unscreened. The proposed legislation would improve federal intelligence agencies’ abilities to target and stop packages containing weapons, biohazards, synthetic drugs and other contraband from entering the United States through the Postal Service.
“The U.S. government has a basic obligation to work together to protect the American people. This bipartisan legislation is a critical step forward to make our communities safer by closing this loophole, making it harder for bad actors to harm those we love,” said Juliette Kayyem, Senior Adviser to Americans for Securing All Packages. “I urge members of Congress to support this legislation to protect communities across our country.”
About Americans for Securing All Packages
Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP) is a bipartisan coalition of health care advocates, national security experts, businesses and nonprofits who are calling on the U.S. government to take action to ensure all packages shipped from foreign posts are adequately screened before arriving on U.S. soil. Coalition members include Allergan, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, AmerisourceBergen, The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), Coalition of Services Industries, International Warehousing and Logistics Association, Johnson and Johnson, LegitScript, Lexington Institute, Shatterproof, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, SurfWatch Labs and UPS.