Washington, D.C. – Today, Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) introduced a bipartisan amendment to this year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to help stop the influx of illegal fentanyl into the United States from drug traffickers.
The amendment would require the United States to publicly identify countries that are major producers or traffickers of illicit fentanyl—something that our government already does for heroin, marijuana, and cocaine but has not yet done for fentanyl. Illicit fentanyl-exporting countries would risk losing certain American taxpayer-funded foreign aid unless they schedule fentanyl and its analogues as a class and take steps to prosecute drug traffickers within their borders.
“Illicit fentanyl is seeping into the United States and killing tens of thousands of Americans every year. Countries, like China, that are the primary sources of illicit fentanyl must take action or face consequences for their tacit role in the distribution of this deadly synthetic opioid,” said Senator Toomey. “This amendment to the NDAA would pressure these countries into taking commonsense measures to stop the flow of illicit fentanyl into the United States.”
“When I visited China, I pushed Chinese officials to take aggressive action to crack down on fentanyl trafficking. Fentanyl trafficking out of China has helped fuel the substance misuse crisis in New Hampshire and across the country,” Senator Hassan said. “Fentanyl is a dangerous, addictive drug, and the United States should publicly report which countries are pushing this lethal drug to our borders. I am glad to partner with Senator Toomey on this measure to help stem the flow of deadly drugs into our communities.”