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Combating the international shipment of opioids: Remarks from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

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Continental breakfast will be provided.

Every year, hundreds of millions of packages enter the United States with little or no screening. Current international postal policy is not up to this challenge, creating both customs and national security vulnerabilities.

United Nations agencies and outdated federal laws facilitate the importation of illegal opioids and other drugs that lie at the heart of our current crisis. In addition, those same conventions have resulted in discriminatory and economically distortive international postage rates. How can the federal government respond to these security risks, protect American consumers and manufacturers, and ensure that the international mail system remains a positive bedrock of the global economy?

Join AEI for remarks from Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), chairman of the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, on the subcommittee’s recent report, “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Exploiting Vulnerabilities in International Mail.” Following the senator’s remarks, an expert panel will discuss international postal agreements, the economic and security concerns they create, and policy solutions.

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.


Agenda

8:15 AM
Registration

8:30 AM
Introduction:
R. Richard Geddes, AEI

8:35 AM
Keynote:
Rob Portman, US Senate (R-OH)

8:50 AM
Q&A

8:55 AM
Panel discussion

Participants:
Jim Campbell, postal policy consultant
Julian Ku, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University
Tom Ridge, Ridge Global

Moderator:
R. Richard Geddes, AEI

9:45 AM
Q&A

10:00
Adjournment




Jim Campbell is a lawyer and consultant in Washington, DC. He is a longtime adviser to the Federal Express Corporation on US postal reform and international postal policy. In recent years he has coauthored (with the Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste) several major studies of European and international postal laws and practices for the European Commission and a review of the history and development of postal law and the postal monopoly in the United States for the Postal Regulatory Commission.

R. Richard Geddes is a visiting scholar at AEI, where he focuses on infrastructure public and private partnerships, the US postal system and postal delivery policy, and corporate governance. Concurrently he is a professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University and director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy.

Julian Ku is a professor at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. His primary research interest is the relationship between international law and constitutional law. Since 2014, he has served as the faculty director of international programs, overseeing Hofstra Law’s study abroad, exchange, and LL.M. programs. He has also been selected as the John DeWitt Gregory Research Scholar and a Hofstra Law Research Fellow. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Ku is the coauthor, with John Yoo, of “Taming Globalization: International Law, the U.S. Constitution, and the New World Order” (Oxford University Press 2012). He also has published more than 40 law review articles, book chapters, symposia contributions, and essays. Before joining the Hofstra Law faculty, he served as a law clerk to Judge Jerry Smith of the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, specializing in litigation and arbitration arising out of international disputes. He was an Olin Fellow and lecturer in law at the University of Virginia Law School, a visiting professor at the William & Mary Law School, a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Law at East China University of Political Science and Law, and a Taiwan Fellow at National Taiwan University. He is a member of the New York Bar and a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

Rob Portman was first elected to Congress in 1993, representing Ohio’s Second District for 12 years. He left Congress to serve as US trade representative and then director of the Office of Management and Budget in the George W. Bush administration. In 2010, he was elected to the US Senate, where he has been a leader in combating the opioid epidemic. He authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which became law in 2016, and recently introduced CARA 2.0 to direct more resources to combat the opioid epidemic. As chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Sen. Portman led an 18-month investigation into how overseas drug traffickers ship synthetic opioids into the US. His bipartisan legislation, the STOP Act, would close the loophole in our international mail screening process that has allowed this to happen. The House passed the STOP Act in the summer of 2018, and the Senate passed it in September 2018. During his Senate tenure, he has introduced more than 240 bills, more than 200 of them bipartisan, and more than 50 bills have been signed into law.

Tom Ridge is chairman of Ridge Global. He provides clients with solutions to cybersecurity, international security and risk management issues. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, he became the first assistant to the president for homeland security and, on January 24, 2003, became the first secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He served as secretary of DHS until February 1, 2005. Before September 11, Gov. Ridge was twice elected governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. After his first year at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the US Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After returning to Dickinson, he earned his law degree. He later became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the US House of Representatives, where he served six terms. Gov. Ridge serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, and other private and public entities. He is currently chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce’s National Security Task Force. He graduated from Harvard with honors.



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