US

‘We Are Not Doing Nearly Enough’ to Stop Fentanyl From China, Lawmaker Proposes Sanctions

By Miguel Moreno

Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) said on Fox News that although President Donald Trump is “very rightfully” drawing attention to fentanyl entering the United States from China, “we are not doing nearly enough” to stop it.

The Democratic lawmaker said that China is taking advantage of the United States Postal Service (USPS) to ship in its drugs. Besides reinforcing the Postal Service’s security screening system, Rose wants sanctions placed on Chinese drugmakers responsible for the fentanyl.

“It’s time that we show these Chinese pharmaceutical companies that are making a profit off of killing Americans that there are significant consequences to that,” Rose told host Neil Cavuto on Aug. 31. “Sanctions is just where we begin, but I believe at this point that when we affect their pocketbooks, they’ll change their actions.”

fentanyl
Plastic bags of Fentanyl are displayed on a table at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 29, 2017. (Joshua Lott/File Photo via Reuters)

Rose, who chairs the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, has proposed the Fentanyl Sanctions Act, which both the House and Senate passed. The bill, if signed into law, would impose sanctions on Chinese pharmaceuticals companies producing fentanyl that is being shipped into the country.

The majority of fentanyl in the United States is foreign-made, most of which originates from China, according to a report from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The United States Treasury also reported on Aug. 21 that the vehicle these traffickers most commonly exploit to ship fentanyl is the U.S. Postal Service.

Fentanyl Slips Through Post Office

The congressman said at a press conference last week that the reason Chinese pharmaceutical companies use the USPS is because of its weaker security screenings.

During a tour through New York’s JFK International Airport, which processes more than 50 percent of international mail, Rose said on Aug. 27 that the airport had not made “significant progress” in improving security and screening systems since the Inspector General of Homeland Security reviewed it last year.

“What we found is that they don’t even have an onsite lab to screen for these drugs,” Rose said on Fox News. “Now, the government said that money’s there, they’re ready to change it, but it hasn’t happened.”

In a Twitter thread condemning China for imposing tariffs on American goods, Trump touched on the opioid crisis and the vehicles China exploits to pour drugs into the country.

“Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS, and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!),” the president wrote on Twitter on Aug. 23. “Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. “President Xi said this would stop—it didn’t.”

Despite the shortcomings at JFK Airport, Rose is hopeful that Trump will take action against Chinese pharmaceutical companies and lauded the president for casting attention on the issue.

“China has not done nearly enough yet,” Rose, who is also a veteran and Purple Heart recipient, told NTD News on Aug. 27. “That’s why we’re responding and it is my belief that the president will sign this legislation with sanctions on Chinese pharmaceutical companies that are producing this fentanyl.”