In the midst of a string of tweets this morning from U.S. President Donald Trump that reignited investor unease over the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, UPS, FedEx and Amazon were among those companies whose share prices fell as Trump specifically directed them to increase their screening for Fentanyl.
….all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop – it didn’t. Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
Despite the market reaction, the integrators indicated in statements to Air Cargo World that their prohibited substance screening programs are already well-positioned to discover and block such illegal shipments.
“We work closely with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and all law enforcement and regulatory authorities to monitor for prohibited substances,” a UPS spokesperson said. “UPS takes a multi-layered approach to security and compliance to identify and prevent delivery of illegal Fentanyl and other illicit substances as well as any other attempts of noncompliant shipments.”
FedEx also “already has extensive security measures in place to prevent the use of our networks for illegal purposes,” a company spokesperson said. “FedEx supported passage of the STOP Act and encourages accelerated implementation and enforcement of its provisions to protect the health and safety of the American people.”
The air cargo industry has been active in working to prevent explosives and illegal drugs from entering the country via the cargo supply chain, and some early evidence suggests the STOP (Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention) Act has been successful in reducing drug smuggling in the industry.
While the integrators are already working to prevent Fentanyl shipments, not all of the Trump administration’s initiatives have been so well-received by express companies. In June, FedEx filed a suit in a U.S. District Court against the U.S. Department of Commerce over prohibitions in the Export Administration Regulations, following FedEx’s accidental diversion of several Huawei packages to the U.S.