Alexander Statement on President Trump and President Xi of China Agreement to Control Fentanyl (Synthetic Opioids)

Posted on December 3, 2018

MARYVILLE, Tenn., December 2, 2018 – U.S. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on the agreement between President Trump and President Xi of China to control fentanyl (synthetic opioids):

“President Trump’s agreement yesterday with President Xi of China is the single most important step that could be taken to stop the flow of deadly fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, from China into the United States. It will save thousands of American lives. The president deserves great credit for persuading China to make the selling of fentanyl subject to the maximum penalty under Chinese law. Opioid abuse is the number one U.S. public health epidemic, killing more Americans last year than automobile accidents. Fentanyl can be 100 times stronger than opioid prescription pills and is the source of the greatest increase in opioid overdoses and deaths. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says that almost all fentanyl that comes to the U.S. is, one way or the other, produced in China.

“At the urging of U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad four weeks ago, I led a delegation of seven members of the United States Congress to Beijing to meet with Chinese leaders, including the Premier, asking that China control all forms of fentanyl as a way of stopping the flow of this dangerous synthetic opioid into the United States both by mail and by smuggling through Mexico and Canada. China’s response today to President Trump is precisely the action our Congressional delegation asked for, and I am grateful to the Chinese leaders for listening to us and taking this action.”

Alexander spoke about his recent visit to China on the Senate floor.    

Alexander was principal sponsor of opioids legislation President Trump signed into law in October that he called “the single largest bill to combat a drug crisis in the history of our country,” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called “landmark” legislation to fight the opioid crisis. That legislation included proposals from five different Senate committees, including the STOP Act to stop illegal drugs, including fentanyl, at the border.

From the White House last night: 

Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding The President’s Working Dinner With China

The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and President Xi Jinping of China, have just concluded what both have said was a “highly successful meeting” between themselves and their most senior representatives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Very importantly, President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.

On Trade, President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time. China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.

President Trump and President Xi have agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days. If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%.

It was also agreed that great progress has been made with respect to North Korea and that President Trump, together with President Xi, will strive, along with Chairman Kim Jong Un, to see a nuclear free Korean Peninsula. President Trump expressed his friendship and respect for Chairman Kim.

President Xi also stated that he is open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal should it again be presented to him.

President Trump stated: “This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi.”


Lamar Alexander is the senior senator from Tennessee, and he serves as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. For his full biography, click here.