Rose, Hill, Brindisi, Fitzpatrick Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Illegal Fentanyl Shipments, Hold Chinese Government Accountable
Bipartisan sanctions legislation would pressure China—the world’s largest producer of illicit fentanyl—to enforce new law declaring wider range of fentanyl derivatives as controlled substances, direct the Administration to identify foreign traffickers of opioids on an annual basis, authorize new funding to law enforcement and intelligence agencies
Washington, May 2, 2019
In light of the dramatic rise in devastating fentanyl overdose deaths, Congressmen Max Rose (D-N.Y.), French Hill (R-Ark.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) today introduced the bipartisan Fentanyl Sanctions Act that would apply pressure on the Chinese government to honor their commitment to make all fentanyl illegal and provide the United States with more tools and resources to go after illicit traffickers in China, Mexico, and other countries.
“Fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin has wreaked havoc in my district, and I’m sick and tired of parents on Staten Island and South Brooklyn having to bury their child as a result of this epidemic,” Congressman Rose said. “We know the majority of fentanyl-laced heroin is coming from China, and they need to be punished. I commend the President for getting them to crack down on fentanyl production, but I don’t trust a damn thing China says. We need to force them to keep their word. It’s time we act.”
“Across Arkansas, heartbroken families have told me their stories about how the opioid crisis has claimed the lives of their loved ones,” Congressman Hill said. “We can’t allow more families to be destroyed by the opioid crisis, which is killing more than 130 Americans every day. Targeting the source of the world’s largest producers and distributers of fentanyl will begin to stop the flow of these drugs coming across our borders and into our streets. I’m pleased that this bipartisan legislation takes the necessary steps to target the bad actors responsible for the illegal trafficking of fentanyl into the United States.”
“Too many families have been ripped apart by the opioid epidemic, and after a recent rise in overdoses in Upstate New York, it’s clear we must do more to get these drugs off our streets,” Congressman Brindisi said. “This bipartisan solution will impose effective sanctions on illicit fentanyl manufacturers and give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to stop these deadly drugs from entering our country. The bill has support from both parties and both chambers, and we need to act now to get this done. We cannot wait any longer.”
“Fentanyl has contributed to tens of thousands of deaths and has devastated our community,” Congressman Fitzpatrick said. “Especially concerning is the fact that this synthetic poison can be ordered online and delivered via mail or express consignment couriers, predominantly from China. This legislation will prevent the flow of synthetic opioids into our country and will empower law enforcement to combat trafficking of these drugs.”
The Congressmen’s legislation mirrors legislation already introduced in the Senate by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
“For far too long, fentanyl has poured into the United States, killing tens of thousands and devastating our communities,” Senate Democratic Leader Schumer said. “As we fight for American lives, we must actively combat the flow of illicit fentanyl and hold China accountable for its role in the fentanyl trade. By applying necessary pressure on the Chinese government to enforce their own law designating fentanyl a controlled substance and providing the United States with tools and resources to go after manufacturers and traffickers, our bipartisan Fentanyl Sanctions Act would be a significant step in our efforts to confront the opioid crisis. I applaud my House colleagues for joining us in this bipartisan effort to save lives by introducing the House version of this vital piece of legislation.”
“China is the world's largest drug dealer. For years, the Chinese government has allowed fentanyl and other synthetic opioids to pour into the United States, killing tens of thousands of Americans,” Senator Cotton said. “Although China has fulfilled a promise to the president by formally banning all forms of fentanyl, we have to make sure they keep their word. Our bipartisan bill, now in both houses of Congress, will give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the tools they need to apply maximum pressure to fentanyl producers, traffickers, cartels, and other criminals who are funneling this poison across our borders and into our communities.”
Specifically, the legislation would:
Following a commitment to the U.S. at the G-20 in December 2018, Chinese regulators announced on April 1, 2019, that a wider range of fentanyl derivatives would be declared controlled substances in China on May 1, 2019. China already has problems enforcing its current drug laws and continues to deny that its illicit fentanyl producers are a major source of illicit opioids contributing to the U.S. opioid crisis.
To ensure accountability, the sanctions legislation would pressure the Chinese government to move forward with an aggressive plan to enforce its announced new laws and provide the U.S. executive branch with flexible new sanction tools to go after actors, from manufacturers to traffickers, in China and other countries. Producers and traffickers of synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and tramadol, in India, Mexico and other countries present serious threats to the U.S. opioid crisis that could be addressed with precision sanctions.
Read more about the bill HERE.