November 13, 2017
The problem of drug inflows from China has been well-documented for years. In February, the congressionally chartered U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission reported, “Chemical flows from China helped fuel a fentanyl crisis in the United States, with significant increases in U.S. opioid overdoses, deaths and addiction rates reoccurring over the last several years.”
An important way to curtail opioid inflows is to require that all shipments from China through the Postal Service be preceded with basic electronic data — including who and where it is from, who it is going to and what is in it, before it crosses the U.S. border. With this information and related algorithms, law enforcement can better identify and check packages for deadly drugs.
John Kelly, head of the Department of Homeland Security, testified that this information would be helpful for interdiction efforts. Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have testified similarly. The Postal Service acknowledges this.
In Congress, a bipartisan measure, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Protection Act, would tighten scrutiny on drugs in international mail shipments by requiring seven electronic data information points on international mail.
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