20 June 2023- Today, Congressman David Trone (D-MD), co-chair of the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, commended Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s productive visit to Beijing this weekend and his establishment of a working group to combat illicit fentanyl trafficking. This follows a letter Trone sent to Blinken ahead of his trip, urging the Secretary to prioritize addressing the opioid crisis and the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) role in it.
In 2022, nearly 110,000 Americans died of drug overdoses – over 75% involved fentanyl. This fight is personal for Trone, whose 24-year-old nephew, Ian, died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016.
“As American communities continue to grapple with record drug-overdose deaths, I commend Secretary Blinken’s effort to help combat this crisis at the source. Members of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking all agreed: we can do more to stem the trade of illicit fentanyl by working with the PRC to adopt know-your-customer rules; mandate and enforce export regulations for the chemical sector; and, increase coordination among the PRC, Mexico, and America’s law enforcement agencies.
“This working group is a clear sign of progress and good faith between the US and the PRC to cooperate on this vital issue, combat transnational crime, and help save lives on the frontlines of this epidemic.
“One of the primary reasons I came to Congress was to ensure Americans have the resources they need to fight and overcome addiction, and our international partners have the support they need to thwart the criminal networks profiting from this crisis. As this new effort unfolds, I plan to continue doing just that.”