Juliette Kayyem is right: The United States must enforce a nearly one-year-old law that requires tracking information on inbound mail if we are to successfully confront the opioid epidemic (“A drug loophole was closed — why isn’t it being enforced?” Opinion, Nov. 4). Lives are being lost, and the status quo is not acceptable.
The most important and efficient step that can be taken is for the United States to tell China, a major point of origin for fentanyl and other opioids, that we simply will longer accept any mail or packages from China Post without advanced electronic data, or AED. In fact, China’s General Administration of Customs put in place the same requirements on US shippers in November 2018, and the United States has been compliant.
Without such assistance from China, US law enforcement must scramble to identify and investigate millions of non-AED items. It is better to just send such packages back to China.
Whether the demand for 100 percent compliance on China’s outbound AED mail and packages comes from President Trump personally or a senior official such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it must be made soon. By showing resolve on this reasonable request, we will strengthen our hand in broader trade negotiations.
Paul F. Steidler
The Lexington Institute is a public policy think tank.