Tester Tells Biden To Hold China Accountable For Fentanyl Crisis
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., led a bipartisan letter last week pressing President Biden to hold Chinese President Xi Jinping accountable during their meeting for China’s role in the deadly fentanyl crisis that is wreaking havoc on Montana.
In their letter, Tester and the bipartisan group of senators call on President Biden to push President Xi to do more to stop the flow of illicit precursor chemicals that are exported from China. These chemicals are used to manufacture fentanyl and other deadly drugs, which are then trafficked across our southern border by Mexican drug cartels.
“The devastating impact of the fentanyl epidemic on our communities and families cannot be overstated. We strongly request that you urge President Xi Jinping, in this week’s meeting, to take decisive action in curbing the production and export of fentanyl- producing precursor chemicals from the Peoples Republic of China,” wrote Tester and his colleagues.
Tester and his colleagues continued: “It is evident that the PRC plays a significant role in the production of fentanyl making its way into our country; contributing to the alarming rates of addiction and fatal overdoses across the United States…Beyond supplying the chemicals to produce the deadly drug, businesses in the PRC are also assisting Mexican transnational criminal organizations in laundering the money that comes from selling the illicit drugs in the United States.”
The senators concluded their letter by emphasizing that tackling the fentanyl crisis will require a multipronged approach and that holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable is a critical step: “As we all understand, tackling this crisis will require a multifaceted approach, and a crucial element is holding those responsible accountable. Addressing the role of the PRC in the fentanyl trade is paramount to our collective efforts in combating this epidemic… With each passing day, our nation’s fentanyl crisis continues to intensify, with no end in sight without prompt action from our Chinese counterparts. We strongly urge you to use this opportunity to implore President Xi to finally put an end to the manufacturing of illicit fentanyl and hold the PRC accountable for its role in contributing to the fentanyl crisis.”
Last month, Tester led a letter alongside seven of his Senate colleagues calling on Biden to prioritize additional funding, resources, and innovative strategies to strengthen the security of our southern border and stop the flow of fentanyl. Tester’s bipartisan Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence Off Fentanyl Act was also successfully included as an amendment to the Senate’s bipartisan NDAA. Tester’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act would impose economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, or other related opioids, and declare international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency.