U.S. targets Chinese firms for addiction that claimed over 100,000 lives last year

The United States imposed sanctions on Chinese painkiller makers in an attempt to slow the addiction epidemic that killed 100,00 Americans in the past year.

Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to make it easier for the U.S. to target foreign drug traffickers, according to WioNews. This executive order will allow the U.S. to target foreign drug manufacturers directly rather than through cartels and other criminal organizations.

Biden additionally created the US Council on Transnational Organized Crime to add more focus on combating the addiction crisis. The sanctions were imposed on four Chinese chemical companies and Chuen Fat Yip.

Chuen Fat Yip has been described as “one of the largest, if not the largest, producers of anabolic steroids in the world.” The State Department is offering a $5 million reward for his arrest.

His company had produced nearly $280 million worth of anabolic steroids over the past five years according to charges filed in 2018. He has been traced to $2.3 million equivalent of bitcoin that was seized by the US, and has been linked to sending ingredients for fentanyl around the world.

Painkiller overdoses have claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans, with the majority of fentanyl tablets originating in China, despite an increase in production from Mexican drug traffickers, according to a 2020 report.

A Biden administration official stated, “I think it’s very simple that a lot of the precursors to synthetic opioids originated in China. And it was important for us to send a signal on that front.”

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