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Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) has represented New Jersey’s 4th district in the U.S. House of Representatives since January 1981

Smith chairs fentanyl hearing

By Nikita Biryukov, September 06 2018 10:24 pm

Rep. Chris Smith chaired a aiming to find solutions to stem the flow of Chinese-made fentanyl into communities in the United states.

The potent synthetic opioid killed more than 29,000 Americans last year.

“We must hold the Chinese government accountable,” Smith said.

Experts say fentanyl is exacerbating the country’s opioid crisis, with more users making a potentially-lethal switch from heroin and other opiates to the synthetic drug.

Though, government officials are trying to stem the tide by catching drugs at the border. Smith recently voted in favor of a law requiring postal carriers, including private carriers like FedEx, to curate electronic data about shipments to make it easier for customs officials to track the flow and origin of drugs coming in from abroad.

But, Smith thinks even more needs to be done.

“We have tools, such as the Global Magnitsky Act, which targets corrupt officials and human rights abusers,” Smith said. “Perhaps it is time we start thinking outside the box and use something like Global Magnitsky to ensure that corrupt Chinese officials and narco-traffickers are held to account.”

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