Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today made the following statement on the new agreement reached between the United States and China to stem the flow of deadly, illicit fentanyl into the United States. Toomey is the author of the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act (S. 3255), which would apply real pressure on China to crack down on the export of fentanyl and other dangerous psychoactive substances.

"I'm pleased that the Obama administration has made some headway with China to reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic drugs like carfentanil into our country. These deadly narcotics are fueling Pennsylvania's heroin epidemic, placing new stresses on first responders, destroying lives, and tearing apart families.

"As I stated in a letter to Secretary Kerry earlier this year, China's lax regulatory controls have enabled unscrupulous chemists and drug cartels to manufacture and export deadly fentanyl-like products into our country. While this agreement helps to close some of those loopholes and improve cooperation between U.S. and Chinese law enforcement, it does not go far enough. That's why I will continue to push for passage of my Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act, which would toughen consequences on foreign partners like China that don't live up to U.S. law and international agreements on narcotics control."

Sen. Toomey's bill would require the State Department to identify in its annual report on narcotics trafficking those countries that are major producers of illicit fentanyl. Fentanyl-producing nations like China that fail to adopt U.S. standards on narcotics control would lose access to the Export-Import Bank and be ineligible for other U.S. taxpayer-subsidized aid.

To come into compliance with the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act, China would need to update its drug control laws to give regulators authority to ban new illicit dangerous substances in an emergency, prosecute drug makers who produce fentanyl "analogues," (i.e. have slightly tweaked fentanyl's chemical makeup to circumvent current law), and regulate the ownership of pill presses, which are used to produce counterfeit narcotics.

You can read the Toomey bill text here.

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