SCHUMER: NEW AGREEMENT WITH CHINA ON FENTANYL COULD BE MAJOR STEP FORWARD TO CURB OPIOID CRISIS IN NEW YORK, BUT NOW WE NEED TO HOLD CHINA ACCOUNTABLE AND MAKE SURE THERE IS COMPLIANCE; SENATOR DETAILS NEW DEAL WITH CHINA TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLICIT FENTANYL AND VOWS TO WATCH LIKE A HAWK FOR PROGRESS
Schumer Led Bipartisan Delegation And Personally Met With China’s President Xi Last Month To Demand Immediate Action To Stop Fentanyl Coming To America
Yesterday, President Biden — Citing Schumer’s Diplomacy — Announced New Deal To Crack Down On Chinese Companies Selling Fentanyl Precursor Chemicals, Increase Law Enforcement Cooperation With U.S., And Work At Senior Level To Directly Address Crisis
Schumer: We Still Have To Watch China Like A Hawk As Part Of New Deal To Cut Flow Of Deadly Fentanyl In NY And Nation
Following his personal meeting in China with President Xi Jinping last month, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today detailed how the new deal President Biden has struck with China to crack down on the scourge of fentanyl could be a major step forward to curb the opioid crisis in New York, but said now more than ever it is imperative to hold China accountable and ensure there is compliance with their commitments.
“The agreement President Biden has announced with China is a long overdue step which has the potential to help cut off the supply of fentanyl at its source and stop this drug before it ever enters our country and hits the streets of New York, but now it is more vital than ever to hold China accountable for the commitments they have made,” said Senator Schumer. “Fentanyl has wreaked havoc in New York and across America, with this crisis stemming in large part in China, where large chemical companies openly and illicitly sell precursor chemicals to buyers in places like Mexico, where it is manufactured and illegally shipped to our most vulnerable communities here in NY. During my visit to China last month we were pointed and direct with President Xi, I told him the devastating impact I have seen the opioid crisis have on New York families. I am pleased to see China take what could be a major step forward to cut off the flow of fentanyl and I am going to be watching like a hawk for progress.”
Specifically, Schumer explained China’s has said it will take new action to enforce its own regulations against the companies which make precursor drugs in a major step to potentially cut off the flow of this deadly drug. A similar notice to industry in 2019 led to a drastic reduction in seizures of fentanyl shipments to the United States from China. Schumer said the U.S. also has information that that PRC police have taken law enforcement action against Chinese synthetic drug and chemical precursor suppliers. As a result, certain China-based pharmaceutical companies ceased operations and have had some international payment accounts blocked. This probably represents the first law enforcement action against synthetic drug-related chemical sellers by Chinese authorities since 2017.
In addition, China and the United States will be launching a counter narcotics working group to bolster law enforcement and information sharing to cut off the flow or precursor drugs and illicit fentanyl. The U.S. and China have both said they will also start working and on an ongoing basis at the senior level to directly address this crisis and start working closely together to carry this initiative forward. In conjunction, Schumer said these long overdue steps have real potential to reduce the flow of these drugs into the United States and places like New York, and ultimately save lives.
Schumer added, “Too many lives have been lost, and too many others are at stake, especially here in New York. Today is a pivotal step forwards in a decades long battle and I will be fighting to hold China’s feet to the fire and keep them accountable for their commitments to cut off the flow of fentanyl to America. I told President Xi that China taking steps to crack down on the sale of precursor chemicals would be a long overdue step to strengthening the relationship between our two nations and hope to see continued results from China in the near future.”
Illicit fentanyl is trafficked into the United States primarily from China and Mexico, and is responsible for the ongoing fentanyl epidemic in New York and across the country. China is the world’s largest producer of illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and their immediate precursors. Some officials estimate that China is responsible for over 90 percent of the illicit fentanyl found in the U.S. From China, those substances are shipped primarily through express consignment carriers or international mail directly to the United States, or, alternatively, shipped directly to transnational criminal organizations in other countries like Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean where the drug is then manufactured.
In New York in 2020, 87.9 percent of all overdose deaths involving any opioid involved synthetic opioids, predominantly illicitly manufactured fentanyl like described above. In 2022, New York City saw overdose deaths reach record numbers at over 3,000, predominantly driven by illicit fentanyl. Most recent county by county data on the impact of the opioid crisis in New York can be found here. The additional enforcement and actions announced today will help tackle the spread of fentanyl directly by ensuring the chemicals used to make the illicit drug never reaches its targets, cutting off the manufacturing of the drug before it can reach streets in communities across America.