Smuggling and Its Control in the United States


Various issues affect the business environment for companies in different countries. These issues make it difficult for companies to be successful since it is difficult to deal with the challenges. The following discussion indulges in smuggling to understand what it is, individuals who benefit from the trade, and ways the United States can control this type of illegal trade. In addition, the discussion will analyze the globalization of organized crimes and ways border violation threatens legitimate trade.

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What is smuggling? What is smuggled, and why is it smuggled? Who benefits from smuggling and who is hurt by smuggling, and how?

The business definition of smuggling is the illegal export or import of goods in or out of the country. Smuggling mostly involves illegal goods such as drugs, restricted products such as weapons, or substandard products that cannot be accepted in normal international trade. In some situations, it involves the smuggling of people into or out of a country. The main products smuggled are drugs and substandard products (Karras, 2010). This is because the government prohibits their trade, hence they cannot be traded legally.

The main individuals who benefit from this type of business are the consumers of these products and the cartel that provide them with the goods. In addition, the corrupt government officials benefit from this trade since they are paid by the cartels for the products to go through the border. This type of illegal trade hurts the government and businesses. The government loses tax that could have been collected through customs duty. In addition, the government is forced to spend more of its budget in combating the illegal trade, which reduces the funds available for development projects. Businesses also suffer from this type of trade since their products lose market share due to the smuggled goods, which are sold at a cheaper price (Karras, 2010).

How can the US government win the war on drugs and, at the same time, decrease smuggling?

It is hard to eradicate the drug trade since the cartels operate in secrecy, and some of the government officials and influential people in the country are involved in the trade. However, the government can win the war on drugs by being more vigilant on its borders and collaborating with the states that the drugs are produced. If the government manages to control the source of the products, then the country will win the war against drug smuggling and use (Karras, 2010). By controlling the entry of goods by checking what is being imported or exported, the country can also reduce smuggling since they will it will identify restricted goods that are being smuggled.

Besides smuggling, what other border violations threaten the facilitation of legitimate trade?

Corruption threatens legitimate trade since officials can be bribed to avoid tax for particular products. Another issue that affects legitimate is trade is the counterfeiting of products in the market, making it difficult for businesses to sell their products since the market is saturated with counterfeit goods. The final issue is money laundering, which makes it difficult for the authority to trace money gained illegally (Karras, 2010).

What is the globalization of organized crime, and how serious is the threat?

The globalization of organized crime is the growth of a network of criminal cartels that operate as a group to transact an illegal trade. The individuals are in different states but have a similar criminal strategy, and they assist each other to enhance their illicit trade. The globalized organized criminal cartel is a major security threat to the country since it is difficult to deal with and requires the cooperation of different states (Albini & McIllwain, 2012).


In conclusion, the smuggling trade is on the rise due to the increased organized crimes. The U.S. can eradicate smuggling and other forms of illegal trade by controlling its borders to ensure all goods being exported and imported meet the country’s specifications.

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Albini, J. L. & McIllwain, J. S. (2012). Deconstructing Organized Crime: A Historical and Theoretical Study. North Carolina: McFarland & Company Publishers.

Karras, A. L. (2010). Smuggling: Contraband and Corruption in World History. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

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