Government affairs

Legislative Updates

STOP Act signed into law as part of opioid package

Today, President Trump signed H.R. 6 into law. This sweeping package of bills that seek to target the nation’s opioid epidemic contains some 70 pieces of legislation including the “The Securing the International Mail against Opioids Act of 2018” (H.R. 5788/S. 3057) a like-for-like replacement for the previously-stalled STOP Act.

Ahead of Senate passage in September, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association sent a letter (link here) urging opposition to H.R. 6 as the bill included the same harmful language found in both the House and Senate versions of the STOP Act. The four postal unions expressed concern with language subjecting the Postal Service or its customers to civil penalties and halving the time Postal Service has to reach 100 percent compliance with the advanced electronic data (AED) mandate, concerns which were unaddressed at any point in the progression of these bills or H.R. 6.

Now that the package has been signed into law, USPS will be required to adhere to such language.  As a result, USPS will face civil penalties starting in 2021 if it continues to allow international shipments without AED to enter the country. As it relates to China, the Postal Service must reach 100 percent AED compliance by the end of this year.

Ironically, on October 17, the White House announced its intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations agency that allows 192 countries to provide universal postal services worldwide and an infrastructure that benefits the American people and American businesses. By pulling out of the UPU, the White House would unwittingly negate USPS’s ability to access the electronic AED shared by all those within the UPU. Such a move would come at the direct detriment of American interests. It would harm individuals and businesses across the country, but to the sole benefit of private shippers, such as FedEx and UPS.

America’s letter carriers, who work in every neighborhood in the country, have seen the devastating impact of opioids firsthand. We are fully committed to working with Congress to fight the epidemic in any way we can.

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