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October 24, 2022

Trone Urges Mexican and Chinese Ambassadors to Increase Efforts to Stop the Manufacturing and Trafficking of Fentanyl


October 24, 2022

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, 

Trone Urges Mexican and Chinese Ambassadors to Increase Efforts to Stop the Manufacturing and Trafficking of Fentanyl

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman David Trone (D-MD), co-Chair of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, led two letters to the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Esteban Moctezuma, and Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, calling for global cooperation to stem the manufacturing and trafficking of fentanyl and its precursors into the United States.

In 2021, over 108,000 Americans died of a drug overdose, 75 percent of which involved opioids. A powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl is now one of the leading causes of death for Americans ages 18 to 45, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Last November, Trone led the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking on a trip to Mexico and the southern border to determine strategies to curb the flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. He was joined by the Director of National Drug Control Policy Dr. Rahul Gupta and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief of Operations Chris Evans.

In his letter to Ambassador Qin, Rep. Trone, joined by Rep. Kuster (D-NH), stressed the importance of international enforcement efforts and urged the People’s Republic of China to reestablish communications with the United States Department of State, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, and Office of National Drug Control Policy to stop the flow of synthetic opioid precursors into Mexico, which leads to the influx of illicit drugs into the United States and the deaths of Americans.

In his letter to Ambassador Moctezuma, Rep. Trone commended Mexico’s work to increase data sharing on fentanyl seizures and update precursor chemical legislation to prevent fentanyl manufacturing within Mexico. The lawmakers continued to urge Mexican officials to focus on combating counterfeit pill manufacturing. Increasingly, counterfeit tablets resembling OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, and Xanax have been seized by the DEA.

Congressman Trone and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) also sent a letter late last week to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the United States Postal Service, calling on them to take additional steps to stop the mailing of synthetic opioids into the country. Separately, the lawmakers wrote to the General Accountability Office asking it to examine how federal programs that address substance use disorder can be improved.

The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking was authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020. The Commission is charged with examining all aspects of the synthetic drug threat to the United States and with producing interim and final reports that articulate a bipartisan strategic approach to combat the flow of synthetic drugs into the United States, which have been a driver of overdose deaths in America for the past several years. The Commission was comprised of fifteen members from the Executive and Legislative Branches as well as the general public. Congressman Trone (D-MD) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) were elected co-chairs of the Commission. You can read its final report here.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

Follow Congressman Trone at @RepDavidTrone for updates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.