Press Releases

Luetkemeyer Delivers Remarks at Hearing on China’s Role in Fueling the Fentanyl Crisis

Washington, March 23, 2023 -

Today, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions, led by Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), is holding a hearing entitled, “Follow the Money: The CCP’s Business Model Fueling the Fentanyl Crisis.”


Watch Chairman Luetkemeyer’s opening remarks here.


Read Chairman Luetkemeyer’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:    


“As every Member of this Committee is painfully aware, Fentanyl is a poison that is afflicting every community across America. This poison is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams, equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is enough to be lethal.


“As current DEA administrator Milgram has said, ‘Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.’ I share her assessment, which is why I chose to address it in our subcommittee’s first hearing of this Congress. 


“In preparation for today’s hearing, I consulted local law enforcement officials in Missouri, who painted a grave picture. In 2021, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl took the lives of 1,374 Missourians. 


“Despite all of these facts, surprisingly, Fentanyl remains a Schedule II narcotic, which is why this week I will re-introduce the Stop Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking (SIFT) Act to combat the skyrocketing amount of fentanyl related deaths. 


“Fentanyl trafficking has become synonymous with the Mexican cartels who have exploited the Biden administration’s lax enforcement of border security and immigration controls to pour this poison into our country. 


“However, it is also vital that Americans understand the essential role that China plays in the Fentanyl Crisis.


“China is the primary source of the knowhow and illicit materials that Mexican cartels use to manufacture lethal synthetic opioids. 


“Moreover, despite the Chinese Communist Party’s publicly professed policy against the export of dangerous drugs for illicit use, the CCP supports the Chinese companies that export fentanyl precursors by offering them government benefits and preferential tax policies as generous as 10-13% rebates.


“Precursor chemicals from China are converted into powdered Fentanyl in Mexico which is then smuggled across the U.S. border to be pressed into brightly colored pills designed to look like legitimate prescription drugs to appeal to kids, referred to by the DEA, as ‘Rainbow Fentanyl.’ 


“And, NO, this is not hyperbole, in August 2022 the DEA released a statement entitled, ‘DEA Warns of Brightly-Colored Fentanyl Used to Target Young Americans.’


“When a pill that costs 13 cents to make can be sold for $10, the cartels are making huge profits, which, like all illicit gains, must be laundered.


“Chinese Professional Money Launders have become adept at using ‘underground banking’ schemes and networks of human assets to move illicit profits through financial systems, co-mingling drug proceeds with remittances to China, and transferring funds to China using Chinese mobile banking apps. 


“Given the gravity and scale of the situation, it is unclear why the Justice Department’s top priority isn’t to stop this reverse Opium War that China is perpetrating against us.


“While there are a lot of pieces to this enormous challenge, including our unsecured border, the flow of money is the lifeblood of fentanyl trafficking, and where our Committee can bring our experience and expertise to bear.


“Our witnesses today will help us understand the financial flows that sustain this deadly trade, and what we can do to ensure that our government has the authorities, capabilities and most importantly, the will to stop them.”



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