Issue Briefs

The President Is Right — China’s Fentanyl Is Killing Too Many Americans

The President Is Right — China’s Fentanyl Is Killing Too Many Americans

September 17, 2019

By Paul Steidler

Kudos to President Trump for tweets tearing into China and President Xi Jinping on Friday for not stepping up to stop fentanyl shipments to the United States. With 47,600 opioid deaths in 2017 alone, this crisis must end.

The president should double down while sharpening and refining his messaging. And he should do so regardless of the ups and downs of tariff negotiations.

China has become the worldwide manufacturing hub of opioids, and with that has arisen criminal businesses that export fentanyl and other deadly narcotics to the United States. These businesses are sophisticated and slick: they operate through well-designed websites that include online chats, negotiate for bulk purchases, take bitcoin payments and even specify shipping preferences.

This was thoroughly documented in a January 2018 bipartisan report by the Investigations Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The report also found, “The preferred method of the international online sellers is Express Mail Service (EMS) … The EMS network delivers letters and packages through each member country’s postal operations.”

The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the author.

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Paul Steidler is a Senior Fellow of the Lexington Institute, who researches, studies, and discusses energy and logistics issues. Steidler has 15 years’ experience in the research, analysis, and public commentary on energy generation and transmission issues. His work and views have appeared in such outlets as The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Bloomberg, Investor’s Business Daily and numerous other news outlets. Mr. Steidler is a magna cum laude graduate from Villanova University with a B.A. in Political Science and Honors. He resides in Reston, Virginia.