Monday, July 15, 2024

Tomorrow, President Biden is expected to push Chinese leader Xi Jinping to increase efforts to crack down on Chinese companies’ involvement in the production of fentanyl, a powerful drug responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. An agreement to address China’s illicit export of fentanyl and the chemicals used to produce it could be a significant breakthrough for the United States during Biden and Xi’s meeting. This meeting will take place as leaders gather for an international conference in San Francisco. China is home to a thriving chemical industry, which produces substances used for various purposes, including the production of fentanyl. US officials believe that this industry is significantly contributing to America’s fentanyl crisis by supplying the materials used by illegal drug labs. China denies this claim and points to America’s drug use culture as the cause of the issue. Although US officials state they have successfully stopped a higher volume of fentanyl from entering the country in recent years, fentanyl-related overdose deaths continue to be a major problem. Despite the challenges involved in policing such an illicit industry, Biden and Xi’s possible agreement could encourage China to enforce more oversight and invest additional resources into monitoring to address the issue. This comes as previous efforts to crack down on fentanyl and precursor chemicals have faced obstacles due to trade negotiations, as was the case during the 2019 agreement with Donald Trump. Increased coordination between the US and China provides hope for improved outcomes, although the ongoing dispute between the two countries may continue to complicate efforts.

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