White House to Target Fentanyl Supply Chain 

April 11, 2023

The Biden Administration on Tuesday unveiled a new initiative targeting the supply chain for fentanyl and other synthetic drugs.

“This approach builds on the President’s National Drug Control Strategy and helps deliver on his State of the Union call to beat the opioid and overdose epidemic by cracking down on the production, sale, and trafficking of illicit fentanyl to help save lives, protect the public health, and improve the public safety of our communities,” the White House said in a statement.

The new initiative includes cooperation with international governments. Though the White House declined to specify those countries by name, the announcement came one day after Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that members of his country’s security cabinet were traveling to the U.S. to discuss fentanyl trafficking with U.S. officials.

The initiative will also include strengthening “coordination and information-sharing among U.S. intelligence and domestic law enforcement agencies” that target the trafficking of fentanyl and other illicit drugs, the White House said.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC further states that most recent cases of fentanyl-related overdose are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets, and it is often added to other drugs, making those drugs “cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.”

The CDC says fentanyl overdoses killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S. in 2022.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has called fentanyl “the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.”

Some 14,000 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the U.S.-Mexico border last fiscal year—nearly all at legal points of entry.

López Obrador on Monday reiterated his previous assertions that no fentanyl is being synthesized inside Mexico, a claim the DEA disputes.

Along with international partners, the White House also said it plans to work more closely with private sector companies in the U.S. and abroad to disrupt drug trafficking.

Further, the White House said the Biden Administration plans to “intensify” its engagement with private chemical industries around the world, increase financial sanctions against drug traffickers and call on Congress to close for good a loophole for synthetic drugs.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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