Responding to Trump, UPS, FedEx say they already fight illegal drug shipments

 Responding to Trump, UPS, FedEx say they already fight illegal drug shipments

(Reuters) - United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp on Friday said they already work closely with law enforcement to stop illegal shipments from entering the country, after U.S. President Donald Trump called on delivery firms to refuse packages of synthetic opioid fentanyl from China.

Trump told UPS, FedEx, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and online retailer Amazon.com Inc to decline deliveries of the powerful drug from China, which on Friday announced plans to impose new tariffs on U.S. goods. (https://bit.ly/2ZnSd5H)

"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!)," Trump said on Twitter.

"Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop - it didn’t," he tweeted, referring to China's President Xi Jinping.

Shares in UPS and FedEx were down 3.8 percent in a down market, while Amazon's stock was off 2.9 percent.

"UPS takes a multi-layered approach to security and compliance to identify and prevent delivery of illegal fentanyl and other illicit substances," UPS said.

Rival FedEx in a statement said it "already has extensive security measures in place to prevent the use of our networks for illegal purposes."

Amazon did not immediately comment.

Private delivery companies like UPS and FedEx electronically track packages. That has proven to be a deterrent for drug dealers, who instead have exploited the weakness in the USPS system.

The U.S. government has identified the USPS as a weak link in its drug enforcement system. USPS did not immediately comment.

"The most common distribution medium is via the U.S. Postal Service," the U.S. Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday, when it announced sanctions against a trio of Chinese nationals accused of trafficking fentanyl.

Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and is responsible for the nation's deadliest drug crisis in history.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2019 00:10:41 IST