Lawmaker Calls for More Postal Security as Chinese Fentanyl Slips Through

Miguel Moreno
By Miguel Moreno
August 28, 2019New York

A New York lawmaker announced on Aug. 27 that not enough is being done to stop fentanyl from being shipped into the United States. Congressman Max Rose said most of it comes from China.

Rose is the Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. He held a press conference in front of JFK International Airport, which processes over 50 percent of international mail.

“We all know where the majority of this fentanyl is coming from—it’s coming from China,” said Rose. “And it’s arriving via the post office.”

Max Rose
Congressman Max Rose in front of John. F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Aug. 27, 2019. (Henry Yan/NTD News)

Rose primarily pointed to a lack of “significant progress” in bettering the airport’s security and screening systems since the Inspector General of Homeland Security reviewed the airport. He mentioned three recommendations published by the Inspector General last year.

“These investigations included actually inspecting all international mail that has been selected for inspection. Bringing in more K-9 teams dedicated to this international mail facility and improving technologies and screening processes.”

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for inspecting international mail—alongside other groups. But at JFK International, “CBP inspects only a limited number of hundreds of thousands of pieces of incoming airmail each day,” according to the report (pdf).

Postal Service
Emblem of the United States Postal Service at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, on Aug. 27, 2019. (Henry Yan/NTD News)

Because of this, the airport was given suggestions to improve. But according to Rose, who took a tour of the screening process before his announcement, this has not yet happened.

Tariffs on Major Exporter of Fentanyl

The United States Treasury announced on Aug. 21 that the “most common distribution medium” for Chinese fentanyl makers is the Postal Service. This detail was a component of a more significant action to impose sanctions on three Chinese men accused of trafficking fentanyl into the United States, furthering the opioid crisis.

According to Rose, the reason they choose the Postal Service is because of its weaker security screenings.

postal service truck
A United States Postal Service (USPS) truck leaves a postal facility in Chicago, Illinois, on Aug. 15, 2019. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

In a thread condemning China for imposing tariffs on American goods, President Trump touched on the opioid crisis and the vehicles China exploits to pour drugs into the country.

“Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS, and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!),” the president wrote on Twitter. “Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year.

“President Xi said this would stop—it didn’t.”

Despite the shortcomings at JFK Airport, Rose is hopeful that the president will take action against Chinese pharmaceutical companies.

“China has not done nearly enough yet,” he told NTD News. “That’s why we’re responding and it is my belief that the president will sign this legislation with sanctions on Chinese pharmaceutical companies that are producing this fentanyl.”

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