White House unveils initiative to target fentanyl supply chain with international partners


(WASHINGTON) — The Biden administration plans on Tuesday to unveil a new initiative to combat the supply chain for fentanyl and other illicit synthetic drugs in the U.S. and abroad.

The effort will aim to “prevent illicit drug manufacturing, detect emerging drug threats, disrupt trafficking, address illicit finance, and respond to public safety and public health impacts,” the White House said.

The rollout includes cooperation with international governments, which were unnamed in a fact sheet released on Tuesday.

The initiative will also include a strengthening of the “coordination and information-sharing among U.S. intelligence and domestic law enforcement agencies” to break up drug trafficking networks, the administration said.

Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, which have come to dominate the illicit drug market, will be the main target of the effort, the administration said in a fact sheet.

“The nature of these drugs, and their ease of access and potency, presents a national security, public safety, and public health threat,” the administration said.

Along with a “global coalition” of governmental partners, the administration also said it plans to work more closely with private sector companies in the U.S. and abroad to disrupt drug trafficking.

The White House plans to “strengthen cooperation with international and domestic express consignment carriers to interdict more illicit substances and production materials,” it said. It will also include education for companies to safeguard “against the sale and distribution of dual-use chemicals and equipment that could be used to produce illicit fentanyl.”

The administration also said it plans to “intensify” its engagement with private chemical industries around the world, increase financial sanctions against drug traffickers and call on Congress to permanently close a loophole for synthetic drugs, the White House said.

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