The opioid epidemic has grown to become a critical problem in communities across the country. While many levels of government and a variety of task forces are working to find ways to tackle it, one easy way to help would be to close off unchecked shipments from foreign countries, like China, through the U.S. Postal Service.

Private shipping companies are responsible for tracking every package that they transport while also collecting key data on the contents of packages to deter transport of harmful products. These shipments are monitored by multiple federal security agencies like Customs and Border Protection. However, unlike private shipping companies, the U.S. Postal Service does not adequately track and assess packages coming into the country.

Because the U.S. Postal Service does not have to follow these same regulations as private shipping companies, hazardous substances are able to travel through their network – going from overseas and entering the U.S. For one deadly synthetic opioid, Fentanyl, drug traffickers have regularly relied on the USPS to get the substance into the country from where it is manufactured in China.

The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act would help solve this problem. Just this week, policymakers in both the House and Senate agreed to a revised version of the bill and it appears to have the backing necessary to pass. The bill will greatly assist law enforcement and security agencies, while providing the tools necessary to begin cracking down on the use of the U.S. Postal Service’s network to transport harmful products into the U.S., like Fentanyl.

Previous versions of this bipartisan bill have garnered over 300 cosponsors and have been endorsed by many on the front lines fighting the opioid crisis. The newly released legislation is a commonsense step in the right direction and a result of the bipartisan efforts of the following members of Congress and the Senate who developed the bill:

  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX
  • Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI)
  • Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)
  • Rep. John Faso (R-NY)

A dependable Postal Service is critically important for all Americans. Implementing commonsense policies such as the STOP Act to ensure that the Postal Service is not used to transport harmful products into our country is necessary for our safety.