Illegal Trade Knows No Borders. Let’s Collaborate To Stop It.


Illegal Trade Knows No Borders. Let’s Collaborate To Stop It.

By Scott Shalley, Florida Retail Federation, and John Holub Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association

Originally posted on

USA-IT partners Scott Shalley of the Florida Retail Federation and John Holub of the Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association write on illegal trade’s impacts to retailers and why we need cross-sector partnerships to fight back:

“In the midst of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, other problems —some of which exist beneath the surface, beyond the public eye —that also negatively impact our communities were exacerbated. Namely, the dangerous proliferation of illegal trade. As retailers, we know that illegal trade is an age-old problem in Florida and Pennsylvania, and for our industries across the nation. Now more than ever, we need new solutions to fight it.”

“Both our states share vast transportation infrastructure that serves as major hubs for both legal and illegal goods. Our ports are some of the busiest in the world, serving as ideal gateways for drugs and other contraband to flow into our states. According to the latest Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data, Florida had the largest amount of cocaine seizures by weight in 2019, while Pennsylvania was third. These kinds of activities threaten our state and our communities. Beyond the social costs that are typically associated with illegal trade, there are also significant costs to taxpayers. Take for example, the illegal tobacco trade, which robs the Florida and Pennsylvania state governments of a whopping $174 million and $185 million a year, respectively.”

“Tackling illegal trade is not an easy task, but it is a crucial one if we are to protect our communities, our businesses, and our country. No one government or single industry, like the retail industry, can address this complex and multifaceted problem on its own. We all have a role to play, and partnerships like USA-IT are key to stopping illegal trade and creating a more fair, secure, and prosperous future for both the Sunshine State and the Keystone State.”

Read more here.