Bipartisan Coalition Calls for Better Package Screening
A bipartisan coalition is calling on U.S. leaders to keep American families safe by closing security loophole that allows 340 million packages a year to enter the U.S. unscreened.
The Americans for Securing All Packages (ASAP), a bipartisan coalition led by Gov. Tom Ridge, the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security, and Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, is uniting security experts, companies and concerned families to take action against this gaping security loophole that currently leaves our country susceptible to another attack by foreign bad actors.
The group warn that every day, almost a million packages are being shipped into the United States from China, Russia, India and other foreign countries through the United States Postal Service (USPS) without being adequately screened for dangerous and illegal content. Currently, intelligence and law enforcement agencies do not receive vital security data for approximately 90-percent of all packages shipped into the United States, ultimately allowing terrorists, drug traffickers, and other bad actors to ship anything from weapons and biohazards to toxic drugs into American communities.
“Fifteen years after 9/11, American families remain unnecessarily at risk when there is an effective solution that has yet to be implemented by the United States government,” said Gov. Ridge, Senior Adviser for Americans for Securing All Packages. “It is time to close this outdated security loophole and demand that foreign posts provide advanced electronic shipping data. We need to make sure law enforcement has the tools to prevent terrorists from shipping biological threats, illicit drugs and other dangerous materials directly into our country.”
“With the ease of one-click online shopping, more packages than ever before are entering the U.S. through foreign postal services – and it is vital that we stop dangerous items before they arrive in our neighborhoods while still ensuring commerce flows,” said Juliette Kayyem, policy adviser to Americans for Securing All Packages. “The federal government and congress have an obligation to keep the postal system safe and secure, from the threats we know, such as terror or drugs, to those we may not. There is just too much at risk to further delay taking action.”
Under the Trade Act of 2002, Congress authorized the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to receive advance electronic security data on all packages entering the United States. The Air Cargo Advance Screening System (ACAS) took another step to bolster the data collection program by specifically targeting dangerous goods. 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 security data, foreign posts have failed to follow suit. Current foreign posts ship approximately 340 million packages through the USPS to the United States every year without following adequate security measures.