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Thomas Gallatin / Sep. 29, 2020

Dangerous Counterfeit Goods Pour Into U.S. From China

Trump works to stop the spread of dangerous counterfeits via Operation Mega Flex.

Back in June 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiated Operation Mega Flex, an effort by President Donald Trump to crack down on dangerous and counterfeit goods pouring into the U.S. from China. It’s estimated that roughly 700,000 small packages from China arrive daily.

Mark Morgan, commissioner of CBP, and Peter Navarro, assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy, note, “If the data collected thus far from Operation Mega Flex accurately captures the scope of the Made-in-China contraband problem — and the data has been remarkably consistent over the 14 monthly blitz operations to date — here’s what it means: On a daily basis, nearly 90,000 Americans are being assaulted in one form or another through small parcel mail by unscrupulous Made-in-China exporters.”

Morgan and Navarro say these contraband packages usually fall into three categories: counterfeit products; “assorted drug paraphernalia along with deadly narcotics such as fentanyl, methamphetamine, and oxycodone”; and various fake documents, such as “driver’s licenses, passports, and police badges.”

This problem is made even more pressing by the fact that more Americans than ever are purchasing products via e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay. According to Morgan and Navarro, “If e-commerce platforms … fail to increase their scrutiny of China’s contraband trafficking and continue to refuse to accept their full and fair share of policing this dangerous problem, they will … be held accountable.”

Furthermore, as Robin Smith and Mark Alexander noted in April, the over-the-counter drugs and health supplements produced in China and shipped here in massive quantities require no labeling indicating their country of origin. In other words, millions of Americans are unknowingly ingesting products from China, which has lax standards for production.

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