UPS and FedEx cargo aircraft.
President Donald Trump asked leading package carriers in the United States to "search and reject" packages from China that contain the drug fentanyl.
In a series of tweets in which he called on US companies to look for "an alternative to China" on Friday, Trump specifically highlighted FedEx, UPS, Amazon and the United States Postal Service. China is the largest source of fentanyl for the USA. UU., According to a 2017 report by the US Economic and Security Review Commission. UU. And China.
"I am ordering all operators, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH AND REJECT … all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!" Trump said.
It is not clear if Trump's statements will be followed with official guidelines from federal agencies.
UPS told CNBC in a statement that "it follows all applicable laws and administrative orders of governments in the countries where we do business. We work closely with regulatory authorities to control prohibited substances."
FedEx said in a statement that "it already has extensive security measures to prevent the use of our networks for illegal purposes. We follow the laws and regulations in all places where we do business and have a long history of close cooperation with the authorities."
"FedEx supported the pbadage of the STOP Act and encourages accelerated implementation and compliance with its provisions to protect the health and safety of the American people," the company continued, referring to the legislation signed by Trump last October.
Amazon and the Postal Service were not immediately available for comment.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine. The Department of Homeland Security was considering labeling fentanyl as a weapon of mbad destruction earlier this year. Only $ 5,000 can buy enough fentanyl in the Chinese market to provide lethal doses to half a million people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were about 48,000 overdose deaths in 2017 with all opioids.
FedEx and UPS shares fell approximately 3% after the tweets and Amazon shares fell approximately 2% in the news. The broader market also fell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing about 500 points or 1.8%.
This is not the first time that carriers are caught in the middle of a commercial dispute. FedEx faces scrutiny by the Chinese government for mishandling packages containing products manufactured by Huawei, a Chinese technology company that Trump has called a "threat to national security." FedEx said the shipping issues were operational errors.
FedEx also sued the Commerce Department in June for export department regulations, saying they created an "impossible burden" for the company.
The Trump administration has prioritized repression of Chinese fentanyl exports and their chemical precursors. Last year, Trump asked China to seek the death penalty for fentanyl distributors and said he had reached an agreement with President Xi Jinping to take anti-drug measures that were "very exciting." Earlier this year, China had announced that it would expand control of fentanyl-related substances by adding it to the complementary list of controlled narcotic drugs.
In Trump's tweet series, he also said he was "ordering" US companies to seek alternatives to their operations in China immediately and start manufacturing products in the United States.