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June 20, 2023

Congressman David Trone Commends Secretary Blinken’s Establishment of New US-China Working Group to Combat Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 20, 2023 

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, Sasha.Galbreath@mail.house.gov 

Congressman David Trone Commends Secretary Blinken’s Establishment of New US-China Working Group to Combat Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman David Trone (D-MD), co-chair of the U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, commended Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s productive visit to Beijing this weekend and his establishment of a working group to combat illicit fentanyl trafficking. This follows a letter Trone sent to Blinken ahead of his trip, urging the Secretary to prioritize addressing the opioid crisis and the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) role in it.

In 2022, nearly 110,000 Americans died of drug overdoses – over 75% involved fentanyl. This fight is personal for Trone, whose 24-year-old nephew, Ian, died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016.

“As American communities continue to grapple with record drug-overdose deaths, I commend Secretary Blinken’s effort to help combat this crisis at the source. Members of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking all agreed: we can do more to stem the trade of illicit fentanyl by working with the PRC to adopt know-your-customer rules; mandate and enforce export regulations for the chemical sector; and, increase coordination among the PRC, Mexico, and America’s law enforcement agencies.

“This working group is a clear sign of progress and good faith between the US and the PRC to cooperate on this vital issue, combat transnational crime, and help save lives on the frontlines of this epidemic.

“One of the primary reasons I came to Congress was to ensure Americans have the resources they need to fight and overcome addiction, and our international partners have the support they need to thwart the criminal networks profiting from this crisis. As this new effort unfolds, I plan to continue doing just that.”

The U.S. Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking was established under Section 7221 of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020, and, by law, concluded its work on February 8, 2022. The Commission includes several federal departments and agencies, as well as four outside members appointed by congressional leadership from the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Commission was led by two co-chairs, Congressman David Trone (D-MD) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who were appointed by congressional leadership and approved by the President of the United States. 

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, Budget, 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.