China agrees to crack down on fentanyl after pressure from Trump


One week before the midterm elections, seven members of Congress jetted to China with specific marching orders from the Trump administration and Ambassador Terry Branstad: Urge Beijing to crack down on fentanyl, the No. 1 killer in the U.S. overdose crisis.

Trade was also on the agenda, said Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, but every meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, state police and Politburo members began by asking the Chinese government to make all forms of the synthetic opioid illegal.

Mr. Branstad and the White House wanted the delegation to act as table-setters for President Trump, the self-styled dealmaker in chief, who met with Chinese President Xi Jinping this weekend on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

The delegation’s lobbying campaign appears to have worked.

The White House said Mr. Xi over the weekend agreed at the summit to control all forms of fentanyl as both countries try to improve relations and end a thorny trade war. Officials said the change, if implemented swiftly and firmly, will fill a critical enforcement gap.

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