Pressure mounts as fentanyl from China floods into the US
“Pressure is mounting on China as many believe it is failing to do enough to stop the flood of fentanyl into the United States – contributing to the opioid epidemic which claimed more than 27,000 American lives in 2017 alone. A growing number of US politicians agree that it is now time to take the necessary steps to ensure the arrest and punishment of people working in Chinese drug labs and operating huge distribution channels that lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans. ‘Synthetic fentanyl produced in China and exported to the US is ravaging our communities. Although China would like to shirk responsibility and call this a purely a demand-driven phenomenon, the fact is Beijing is not doing enough to stop the supply,’ declared one US Congressman.
One piece of legislation “calls for the creation of ‘a joint effort by the Secretaries of State and of the Treasury to identify each person and government official in China involved in fentanyl production and trafficking into the US. Once identified, those persons can be sanctioned by the US under such policies as the Global Magnitsky Act.’ Bryce Pardo, an analyst from the Rand Corp think tank, told the hearing that Chinese regulations were deficient and ‘a lack of oversight and government and corporate accountability’ had triggered ‘a large increase in the number of unlicensed or semi-legitimate chemical manufacturers or distributors’ as well as an increase in ‘opportunities for corruption.’ In his opening remarks to the National Opioid Summit, US Attorney General Sessions stated that he agreed that China is not doing enough and that it needs to do more. ‘China must do more’ Some suggest that China may be showing signs that it is delaying discussions over the scale and scope of its anti-fentanyl campaign due to the escalating trade war with the US.”