Last fall, the Biden Administration issued its Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2023. However, the administration just delivered the official notification of the determination to Congress. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is scheduled to travel to Beijing, and he must address China’s role in the production of the precursor chemicals for fentanyl.
The current designation, which should include any nation that produces both illicit drugs and precursor chemicals for controlled substances, includes Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement criticizing the Biden Administration for failing to include China, despite it being the largest source of precursor chemicals for fentanyl illicitly trafficked into the United States.
- “Fentanyl continues to kill Americans and China is the largest source of chemicals used to create this deadly drug. Yet, for some reason, the Biden Administration refused to list China on its annual list of illicit drug producing nations. There is no reasonable explanation for letting the Chinese Communist Party avoid responsibility for the countless deaths they’ve contributed to in our country. It is outrageous, and yet another sign that President Biden’s team is willing to accept Beijing’s promises as fact to reset relations with America’s greatest adversary.” – Senator Rubio
The Foreign Assistance Act defines “illicit drug producing and transit countries” as any country “that is a significant direct source of covered synthetic drugs or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances, including precursor chemicals when those chemicals are used in the production of such drugs and substances, significantly affecting the United States.” A designation would prohibit all foreign assistance to China that is not related to international counter-narcotics agreements.
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- September 2022: Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Make Distribution of Deadly Fentanyl Chargeable as Felony Murder
- September 2022: ICYMI: Rubio Urges Attention to Fentanyl Crisis
- December 2021: Rubio Introduces Bill to Combat Illegal Sale of Fentanyl, Other Drugs Online
- September 2021: Rubio, Brown, Cotton, Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Law Enforcement Investigate Fentanyl, Protect Officers
- April 2019: Rubio & Bipartisan Group Introduce Anti-Opioid Bill to Sanction Chinese-Origin Fentanyl
- May 2017: Rubio, Markey Host Bipartisan Senate Briefing with DEA on Illicit Fentanyl Crisis
- March 2017: Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Reduce Flow of Illicit Fentanyl into U.S.