Chinese chemical factories are believed to be the primary producers of fentanyl and related synthetic opioid analogs, which are then mixed in with other illicit drugs, making them even more risky than they were on their own.
As reported by Bloomberg, US President Donald Trump's trade war with China comes along with its own self-inflicted injuries, including a steepening trade deficit with China, which is one of Trump's favourite yardsticks to measure who is "winning" or "losing" in global trade.
China did not say exactly what penalty it would apply to Fentanyl distributors, and has not hinted that it would execute the pushers. Yet, the flow of fentanyl continued and fentanyl-related overdose deaths continued to climb.
China's Commerce Ministry is due to hold its weekly news briefing later on Thursday, where it could offer more details on China's understanding of what had been agreed to. The new report showed the deficit grew more than 11 percent through October from the year before and thus pointed to an awkward emerging reality for Trump: If the pattern holds, by the end of this year the USA trade deficit will have reached $600 billion for the first time.
Trump has also reportedly praised the use of the death penalty against drug dealers in Singapore, China and the Philippines.
Trump agreed to suspend plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products from 10 percent to 25 percent in order to pave the way for trade talks with Beijing, but warned that if the negotiations do not succeed within three months, the tariffs will be hiked as planned.
"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so", he said.
This isn't the first time Trump has advocated for exercising the death penalty against drug traffickers. "Interventions like drug checking, naloxone, supervised consumption spaces, and expanding access to evidence-based treatment are urgently needed to reduce fentanyl-related deaths".
The prevention of opioid abuse the U.S. has been a priority of the President's since his presidential campaign, and the interdiction of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, coming into the USA from Chinese suppliers through the mail has been a major initiative the Trump administration has attempted to tackle. He would rather American drug users die and Chinese drug sellers be killed than come up with effective responses that would actually save lives.