Lawmakers Unveil Group Designed To Counter China’s Alleged Part in Fentanyl Crisis

Lawmakers Unveil Group Designed To Counter China's Alleged Part in Fentanyl Crisis

( – Fentanyl has become a systemic, ongoing problem in the United States, largely contributing to the overall drug crisis in the country. Experts have attributed more than a hundred thousand deaths to synthetic opioid over the past few years. Now, lawmakers are working to address the issue head-on.

Establishment of a New Group

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently established the Fentanyl Policy Working Group (PWG), composed of a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Their goal is to raise public awareness about the CCP’s role in the fentanyl crisis affecting the country. The group will also work together to craft legislation to help combat the threat.

According to a press release, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Jake Auchincloss (D-MA) will lead the group. Other members include Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Neal Dunn (R-FL), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Michelle Steel (R-CA). The group plans to hold Committee events and will start work immediately.

Some of the plans in place for the PWG include strengthening, codifying, and imposing sanctions on players in the illicit trade, implementing enforcement measures for trade and customs enforcement to help restrict trafficking, and closing the gaps that Chinese money launderers and drug traffickers have exploited for their own gains.

April Report: CCP Subsidizing Export of Fentanyl into US

The formation of the PWG follows on the heels of the Select Committee’s report, released in April, revealing it had uncovered evidence of the CCP’s involvement in the fentanyl crisis. The report accused China of having “programs in place” rewarding enterprises “with subsidies” for smuggling illicit drugs like fentanyl and others, illegal in China, to the US.

Additionally, the report accused the CCP of subsidizing the manufacturing and export through tax rebates, giving monetary awards and grants to companies that openly traffick materials to make the synthetic opioid, and holding ownership in several Chinese companies with ties to drug trafficking. The report highlighted how China circumvents US investigations, gives those subject to probes a heads up, allows for the sale of fentanyl precursors and additional illicit materials on the internet, which it controls, and benefits — strategically and economically — from the crisis that plagues the US.

Intelligence sources have long accused China of helping drug traffickers, including those in Mexican cartels, produce and benefit from the trade. The new Congressional group hopes to cut off China’s involvement and mitigate damages in the US as a benefit.

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