President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit early this week. Following the bilateral meeting, President Trump tweeted that President Xi promised to criminalize Fentanyl sales to the US. Fentanyl, a drug nicknamed ‘China White’, has been responsible for a major spike in overdose death rates in the US. According to the Center for Disease Control, Synthetic opioids accounted for 30,000 of the 72,000 overdose deaths that occurred in 2017.

Fentanyl, a highly addictive and potent synthetic opioid, is making its way to the US. According to the DEA China is using “…express consignment carriers or international mail directly to the United States, or, alternatively, shipped directly to transnational criminal organizations (TCO) in Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.” It is then mixed in with heroin and other drugs, including many non-opioid street pills.

Earlier this year, “Donte Holdbrook, 24, of Middletown, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to his role in a local narcotics conspiracy tied to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico.” according to Southern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney’s Office. Holdbrook arranged shipments of illicit fentanyl into the State of Ohio and was part of a group of 12 individuals linked to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico. The Ohio cell was responsible for facilitating trafficking of fentanyl from Mexico into Ohio and sending funds back to the Sinaloa cartel.

The trafficking of fentanyl from China is killing Americans. The opioid epidemic has become a transnational business and China is the largest source of Fentanyl. President Trump is calling on China to change its destructive policies in the hopes of containing a transnational drug trafficking ring abroad and a widespread epidemic at home.

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