America's drug epidemic continues to rage, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that there were over 106,699 fatal overdoses in 2021.
Many of those deaths were due to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid typically manufactured in China and smuggled in via Mexico. Recent testimony suggests that the Biden administration has failed at getting both countries to take action.
According to the Washington Examiner, State Department Assistant Secretary Todd Robinson admitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that China remains defiant when it comes to fentanyl production.
"There are basic steps [China] could take, that they're not taking right now, that could help a lot," said Robinson, who leads the State Department's counter-narcotics bureau.
"They could monitor and make more transparent the labeling of chemicals leaving the country," Robinson continued.
"And, they could follow the trail and make sure that the companies that are exporting these chemicals know who the chemicals are going to, particularly in Mexico, where we know the drug is being synthesized," he added.
"They're not doing that now," the State Department official complained. "They're not talking to us really about it, but they should."
The Examiner noted that under former President Donald Trump, the Chinese government agreed in 2019 that it would work to halt fentanyl exports.
Yet Drug Enforcement Agency head Anne Milgram said that hasn't happened, telling lawmakers that China "has repeatedly declined diplomatic and congressional requests to stop" providing Mexican drug cartels with precursor chemicals for fentanyl production.
Milgram also spoke at length on fentanyl's deadly nature, telling lawmakers, "The question I get asked when I'm out in the public more than any other is, why would these cartels kill their customers?"
"And the answer today is that fentanyl is so addictive that the cartels are using it to drive addiction. And, for them, if a user dies, it is the cost of doing business," she said.
Milgram also faulted the Mexican government for being uncooperative regarding information sharing and the extradition of "232 drug-related defendants."
For his part, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez lashed out at China's communist dictator, saying, "I doubt Xi Jinping cares that his chemical and pharmaceutical industries are supplying the Mexican cartels that are flooding the United States with fentanyl."