President Biden said Tuesday that he took important steps during his meeting last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping to curb the flow of fentanyl into the United States, but that he will have to verify that the Chinese follow through.
Biden and Xi met in San Francisco during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, and the White House said their conversations on the deadly opioid fentanyl was a top deliverable out of the talks. Biden reiterated Tuesday that he “made important progress” during his meeting with Xi, as well as with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“We took a critical step of resuming counternarcotics cooperation between our two countries,” he said of his talks with Xi.
“The United States is going to seek to work together with China to target the fentanyl components. As a result of our recent diplomacy, China has already taken steps to shut down companies dealing in illicit trade of precursor chemicals. We’re not just going to trust that this is happening — we have to verify it. And that’s going to save lives,” Biden said.
Biden and Xi announced last week that China would tell companies to curtail shipments to Latin American countries of the chemicals used to produce fentanyl.
Biden stressed that the influx of fentanyl is a “global challenge that demands global action.”
He also called on Congress to “step up,” saying lawmakers should pass his supplemental budget request that includes more funding at the U.S. southern border. The production of fentanyl is often finished in Mexico and then comes across the border into the U.S.
The Justice Department last month announced eight indictments against Chinese companies and nationals, charging them with crimes relating to fentanyl and methamphetamine production, the distribution of synthetic opioids and sales of the chemicals used to make them.
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Author: Alex Gangitano