The United States will widen its efforts to crack down on the fentanyl crisis, announcing new sanctions targeting drug traffickers on Tuesday.
In a fact sheet outlining the administration’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, the White House said it will increase sanctions and other measures against targets to stymie drug traffickers’ access to the U.S. financial system and illicit financial flows.
“The nature of these drugs, and their ease of access and potency, presents a national security, public safety, and public health threat,” the White House said in a statement.
Washington will build a global coalition to combat the illicit synthetic drug trade, the statement said, in an effort to “develop solutions, drive national actions, and create synergies and leverage among like-minded countries.”
The fresh sanctions come as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and members of his security cabinet plan to meet with U.S. officials this week about fentanyl and arms trafficking.
President Joe Biden’s push to counter drug traffickers also coincides with numerous lawmakers’ critiques that his administration has not done enough to stem the tide of drugs flowing from Mexico. As tensions with the southern neighbor rise, prominent Republicans have even called for bombing drug cartels in Mexico to solve the problem.
Former President Donald Trump, who is seeking a second term in the White House, has floated the idea of sending “special forces” and using “cyber warfare” to target cartel leaders. Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) introduced a bill seeking authorization for the use of military force to “put us at war with the cartels.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said he’s open to sending U.S. troops into Mexico to target drug lords — even without Mexico City’s permission.
“We need to start thinking about these groups more like ISIS than we do the mafia,” Waltz told POLITICO.
The post White House announces new sanctions to combat fentanyl trafficking appeared first on Politico.