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Biden to announce China fentanyl crackdown while in San Francisco: Report

Joe Biden an Xi Jinping
This combination image shows U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington on Nov. 6, 2021, and China’s President Xi Jinping in Brasília, Brazil, Nov. 13, 2019. | Source: Alex Brandon, Eraldo Peres

President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are reportedly set to agree on terms to crack down on the production and distribution of illicit fentanyl from Beijing, according to Bloomberg

Ahead of their planned meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco this week, Xi Jinping and Biden are said to have reached a tentative agreement that would see China crackdown on the companies that make the chemicals used to manufacture the deadly opioid in exchange for the U.S. lifting restrictions on its forensic police institute, an organization the U.S. says is allegedly responsible for human rights abuses, reported Bloomberg, quoting sources close to the deal.

Biden and Xi Jinping will meet on Wednesday as part of the APEC gathering at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

The White House announced Monday that Biden would also meet with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador later this week. The two leaders will discuss the growing migration issue at the U.S.-Mexico border and beyond.

A police car shines its lights next to a crowd of people.
A police vehicle cruises past people congregating near an intersection known for its open-air drug trade, where fentanyl and other narcotics are bought and sold. | Source: Jesse Rogola/The Standard

Mexico and China are the primary sources of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the U.S., according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Nearly all the precursor chemicals that are needed to make fentanyl come from China. And the companies that make the precursors routinely use fake return addresses and mislabel the products to avoid being caught by law enforcement.

Last week, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on 13 members of Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel and four Sonora, Mexico-based firms accused of trafficking fentanyl and other drugs into the United States.

San Francisco has witnessed a rapid rise in fentanyl abuse in recent years, losing more than 1,900 lives to the drug since January 2020. Local and state law enforcement authorities have led a crackdown on the drug since May.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he also raised the issue of fentanyl distribution during his trip to China in October.

AP contributed to this report.
David Sjostedt can be reached at david@sfstandard.com