On Sunday, the 31st of March 2019, the State Council of China had issued a statement saying that the country would not be imposing additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles, alongside auto parts after April 1st, as a token of gesture following USA decision of delaying tariffs on Chinese imports.
The United States is battling an epidemic of opioid-related deaths, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said he hopes to include China's commitments to curb the drug in any agreement to end the two countries' bitter trade war.
According to Trump in December, China's move to add fentanyl on the list could be a "game changer". In 2017, the drug, along with other synthetic opioids, was responsible for nearly half the 70,000 overdose deaths in the US.
"This significant development will eliminate Chinese drug traffickers' ability to alter fentanyl compounds to get around the law", the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said in a statement.
"China's control over fentanyl drugs is very strict", Liu told reporters.
The regulatory change will take effect May 1, CBS News reported, and will cover not only the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl but the wide variety of chemical analogs including even more potent variations like carfentanil and sufentanil.
"The US is concerned about all variants (of fentanyl), and it has all been resolved", Liu Yuejin, deputy director of the National Narcotics Control Commission, said at a press conference. In the past, Trump has said China is the main source of the drug.
"Some people link drug consumption with freedom, individuality, and liberation", Liu said. Will the USA fentanyl crisis be solved if there was no fentanyl-related substance shipped to the country?
China's Vice Premier Liu He, the country's top trade negotiator, is expected to visit Washington this week to continue the trade negotiations from last week's meeting in China.
"If the United States truly wants to resolve its fentanyl abuse problem, it needs to strengthen its domestic work", he said.
Plastic bags of Fentanyl are displayed on a table at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. November 29, 2017.
In December, as part of ongoing trade negotiations, Chinese president Xi Jinping promised US president Donald Trump that his country would finally add the drugs to its schedule of controlled substances. "They are all shipped to the U.S.by criminals through evasive means, through global packages", Liu said. Liu pushed back against that idea Monday, just as Chinese officials have in the past. "If China cracks down on this 'horror drug, ' using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible!"