During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Donald Trump secured an important win in the United States’ battle against the opioid epidemic.
As IJR previously reported, more people died in 2017 from drug overdoses than gunshot wounds or car crashes. Deaths by opioid outnumbered deaths from all other drugs, combined.
A key reason opioids have been more lethal than other drugs is because many opioids have been connected to Fentanyl. Fentanyl can be used to make synthetic opioids, but even trace amounts of Fentanyl can be fatal.
According to the National Institue on Drug Abuse, half of the fatal opioid overdoses were because of synthetic opioids that used Fentanyl.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump have taken the opioid epidemic on as one of their top priorities, and his most recent meeting with President Xi proved they are making some important progress.
President Trump announced that his meeting with President Xi at the G20 Summit resulted in Chinese officials announcing Fentanyl as a controlled substance. This means that any person who tries to send Fentanyl from China to the United States will face punishment.
In his White House statement, President Trump wrote:
“Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.”
This is a huge victory for the United States because much of the Fentanyl currently in the country came from China. Synthetic opioid producers in the United States were buying the lethal product from China online and having it shipped overseas.
The heightened classification to a controlled substance will hopefully prevent more shipments of Fentanyl to the United States, saving countless American lives.
Leader from both sides of the political aisle took to Twitter to acknowledge how important this move was for the American people.
Fentanyl is manufactured in China.
Fentanyl killed 30,000 Americans last year alone.
A trace amount is deadly.
In some communities, the opioids crisis is actually a fentanyl crisis. https://t.co/OR2wtXASNu
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) December 2, 2018
Thank you @realdonaldtrump for always protecting the American people. I will be your partner to fight the opioid crisis here in Florida. We will fully prosecute the lowlifes that peddle these drugs and commit to helping their victims. #FlaPol https://t.co/eSHl9a2jqW
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) December 2, 2018
The flow of illicit Chinese fentanyl is fueling the dramatic spike in opioid overdoses. This is a positive step in the fight against the #OpioidEpidemic, but it can’t just be a gesture. It needs to be fully enforced. https://t.co/WG95GLRji3
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 2, 2018
President Trump called the meeting with President Xi and the Chinese delectation “highly successful.”