Nikki Haley Calls for Sanctioning China Over Fentanyl Crisis

Nikki Haley Calls for Sanctioning China Over Fentanyl Crisis
Republican presidential candidate and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall event in Bedford, N.H., on April 26, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Jackson Richman

Republican presidential candidate and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a CNN town hall, called for the United States to sanction China over its role in the fentanyl crisis in America.

“Most of the fentanyl that comes into this country illegally from Mexico—a lot of it from Chinese supplies to Mexico—comes through ports of entry and it’s smuggled by American citizens,” said CNN anchor Jake Tapper, who moderated the June 4 event.

“The immigration crisis notwithstanding, the fentanyl crisis is about 90 percent ... if it’s irrelevant to that, what would you..." 

“Which is why you sanction China immediately,” Haley said. “China knows what they’re doing. Sanction them. There’s nothing that they dislike more than when we hit their wallets. And you sanction them and you let them know that we’re on to them.”

Regarding fentanyl itself, Haley lamented the state of affairs of the deadly opioid.

“We’ve lost more people to fentanyl than the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam wars combined,” she said. “Think about that. That’s a terrible thing.

“Standing by not doing anything is unacceptable. We’ve got Americans dying every day. So we have to do that. And it’s important to know these are not druggies that are taking fentanyl.”

Haley went on to talk about the effect of fentanyl on America’s youth.

“In some cases, these are kids that just ordered Adderall online to help take a test. I talked with some parents a month ago,” she said. “And ... basically that’s how they lost their son. He just took a pill from someone else before a test. We’ve got to get that under control.”

In 2021, the leading cause of opioid-related deaths was fentanyl—with 70,601 such deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than 50,000 pounds of fentanyl was seized by Customs and Border Protection at the southern border in 2022.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Seizures of fentanyl sourced from China average less than one kilogram in weight, and often test above 90 percent concentration of pure fentanyl.”

The CNN town hall with Haley, which consisted of other topics ranging from abortion to the Russia-Ukraine war, provided a contrast from the network’s town hall with Trump last month, which was contentious. The former consisted of the moderator and Republican candidate having a normal conversation and not a debate. It also consisted of softball questions whereas the Trump town hall, moderated by anchor Kaitlan Collins, lobbed none. The town hall with Haley came as CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht has come under fire for the Trump town hall and how he has handled the network overall.
Jackson Richman is a Washington correspondent for The Epoch Times. In addition to Washington politics, he covers the intersection of politics and sports/sports and culture. He previously was a writer at Mediaite and Washington correspondent at Jewish News Syndicate. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Examiner. He is an alum of George Washington University.
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