Today in a Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee hearing, Congressman Pat Tiberi highlighted the STOP Act, bipartisan legislation he introduced that is designed to stop dangerous synthetic drugs from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the United States. Specifically, the STOP Act would require shipments from foreign countries through the U.S. Postal Service to provide electronic advance data—such as who and where it is coming from, who it is going to, where it is going, and what is in it—to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before crossing the U.S. border.
Rep. Tiberi’s line of questioning to CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske as prepared for delivery:
“Just this past weekend in Cleveland, Ohio, seven people tragically lost their lives due to drug overdose.
“I recently introduced a bipartisan bill with several of my colleagues on this panel called the STOP Act to try to keep these drugs from coming into the country through the foreign Posts and to address the rise in drug overdoses. This bill would extend the same level of advanced electronic security screening to packages coming to the U.S. Postal Service from overseas through the postal system that currently applies to those same packages coming in via private carrier.”
“Do you believe that having access to advanced electronic data from these foreign shippers could help CBP track and intercept these illicit shipments?”
Commissioner Kerlikowske’s answer was pretty clear:
“I do—just as the information that has been helpful in recognizing people that shouldn’t get on an airplane because of advance passenger information. In the same way, with cargo that comes into this country... having that information so that we can do everything we can based upon risk is important.