Schumer fentanyl

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Schumer Proposes Sanctions In Fight Against Fentanyl

February 10, 2019 - 4:08 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) – Sen. Chuck Schumer is outlining the first-ever, targeted fentanyl sanctions bill that he hopes will cut off the drug, which has been flowing in from China.

The opiate is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin and has been blamed for many overdose deaths in the U.S. in recent years.

“It’s one of the deadliest drugs that we have ever come across,” Schumer said.

The senator says the pipeline of fentanyl coming into the U.S. starts mostly in China and that legitimate drug manufactures put it together under the table.

“They sell them to traffickers, they sell them to manufacturers. They even ship them in large amounts through post offices,” he said.

Schumer's legislation — known as the Fentanyl Sanctions Act — would direct U.S. officials to publicly identify foreign opioid traffickers, would deny the traffickers visas in the U.S. and would prohibit them from doing business using American banks.

The bill aims to "hold accountable" fentanyl manufacturers in China and other countries that illegally drugs to the U.S., Schumer said. It could also be used to target transnational gangs and cartels involved in fentanyl trafficking, as well as banks that help those organizations, he said.

“When you have sanctions imposed on you, not only can’t you come to the United States, but your company can’t deal in the United States. Anything you send – whether it’s money or product – will be confiscated immediately,” he said.

The timing of the announcement is key. President Trump has discussed meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in the next few weeks to iron out trade talks.

In December, China agreed to label fentanyl, the deadly synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of American drug deaths annually, as a controlled substance.