PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Small Business Advocate Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Opioids Package…STOP Act will help curb the flow of deadly fentanyl

By at 17 September, 2018, 7:38 pm

NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – The United States Senate overwhelmingly passed an important package of bills (H.R. 6) to help combat the opioid crises and shutter the flow of deadly fentanyl into the U.S.  Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) president & CEO Karen Kerrigan applauded this significant action, and highlighted the Synthetic Trafficking and Overdose Protection Act (STOP Act, S. 372) within the package, which is key to cutting off the flow of deadly fentanyl and getting the crises under control. The STOP Act will require advanced electronic data (AED) on all packages entering the United States through the U.S. postal system – a requirement that private shippers must currently adhere to.  H.R. 6 passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 99-1.

“Dangerous people are shipping deadly fentanyl and other illicit materials into our country through a well-known loophole in the U.S. postal system.  The STOP Act will help stem this poisonous flow and prevent those very bad individuals from using the postal system in various ways to harm U.S. national security, economic competitiveness and the health and well-being of our citizens. Deadly fentanyl is fueling the opioid crisis and killing our fellow citizens. More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year – and more than half of all these deaths were related to fentanyl. This scourge is devastating families and communities, and placing extraordinary burdens on employers and our law enforcement system. SBE Council commends members of the Senate who voted for this package, and we especially applaud the work of Senator Rob Portman for his continuous advocacy and leadership on the STOP Act,” said SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

The technology to significantly curb the flow of deadly fentanyl has been readily available for some time. The STOP Act requires that the U.S. Postal Service utilize advanced electronic data, which means shipments from foreign countries would be required to use the technology to identify, for example, the sender, recipient, and contents of a package. This needed tool would not only deter the shipment of deadly opioids into our country, it would also help to prevent other illegal shipments like counterfeit goods from entering the U.S., which has a serious negative impact on America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. More than 1.3 million packages enter the United States daily without advance electronic security data that would allow law enforcement to identify packages containing illicit, synthetic or counterfeit drugs.

“The House and the Senate have both acted on a strong bipartisan basis on this critical issue. Now, the final work must move along quickly in order to send the STOP Act to President Trump’s desk. Each and every day a million or more packages arrive into the U.S. with contents of some that are deadly for our fellow citizens. It’s time for advanced electronic data, and that moment can’t come quick enough,” added Kerrigan.

SBE Council is a member of Americans for Securing All Packages, a coalition of health care advocates, security experts, businesses and non-profits who believe it is time to close a dangerous security gap that leaves our nation vulnerable to foreign attacks and invites illegal and toxic drugs into our communities.

SBE Council resources:

Letter to U.S. Senate: SBE Council Strongly Supports Opioids Package and the STOP Act, September 12, 2018. 

Podcast: Karen Kerrigan explains the importance of the STOP Act, SBE Council-Forbes Books Radio podcast, August 30, 2018. 

SBE Council Applauds President Trump’s Call for Action on the STOP Act, press release, August 21, 2018. 

Letter for the Record: Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Trade, Hearing on Opioids and the International Mail System, April 24, 2018.  

CONTACT:

Karen Kerrigan, kkerrigan@sbecouncil.org   

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: www.sbecouncil.org. Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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