stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
Canada's trade talks with China need to target fentanyl
space
space
By BARRIE MCKENNA
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Monday, December 10, 2018 – Page B1

Donald Trump regularly gets things wrong - on facts and policy.

But the U.S. President has been spot-on by outing China as the world's No. 1 source of illicit fentanyl and using trade threats to force Beijing to do something about it.

At the recent Group of 20 summit in Argentina, Mr. Trump secured a commitment from Beijing to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance, along with various chemical ingredients and fentanyl-like derivatives. Canada should adopt a similarly tough stance if it's going to deepen trade ties with China and explore a possible free-trade agreement.

Securing co-operation from the Chinese on stamping out the illegal fentanyl trade should be a "national priority" for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to David Mulroney, Canada's ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012.

"The fentanyl epidemic is a new kind of foreign-policy challenge for us," Mr. Mulroney argued in a recent opinion piece in The Globe and Mail.

"China is refusing to act responsibly, something that is literally killing Canadians."

China is the main source of the highly addictive and often deadly synthetic opioid in Canada and the United States. China's central role in the epidemic of deaths linked to the drug in North America should be a national disgrace.

There are many areas of trade where critics have accused China of not playing fair.

Among them are its failure to open up more of its domestic market to foreign investment, the murky role of its sprawling state-owned enterprises and its role in theft of intellectual property and corporate espionage.

There is no such ambiguity when it comes to fentanyl. China is a global menace.

The country is the main supplier of illegal fentanyl to Canada, the United States and Mexico, and its government is doing virtually nothing to stem the flow, according to a 2017 report by the U.S.China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Congressional panel that tracks the national-security implications of trade between the two countries.

"Because illicit fentanyl is not widely used in China, authorities place little emphasis on controlling its production and export," the report found.

Worse, China may be unwittingly subsidizing fentanyl exports. The Chinese government has prioritized its growing pharmaceutical sector as a "high-value-added industry," providing export-tax rebates to companies, the report said.

This has helped make China the world's largest manufacturer and exporter of pharmaceutical ingredients.

China is now second only to the United States in the making of pharmaceuticals in the world.

But unlike Canada and the United States, regulation of the industry is woeful there. In a follow-up report last month, the commission concluded there has been "no substantive curtailment" of fentanyl exports.

"In large part, these flows persist due to weak regulations governing pharmaceutical and chemical production in China," it said.

Stemming the flow of fentanyl won't be easy. Chinese manufacturers evade regulations by constantly modifying ingredients to create a virtually endless number of versions of the drug.

"Chinese manufacturers stay ahead of regulators by creating new, uncontrolled substances that can be legally manufactured and exported," according to the commission.

Hundreds - perhaps thousands - of legal factories in China are shipping fentanyl, derivatives and related ingredients to Canada and the United States - sometimes by mail - directly to labs and dealers in North America.

Often, the drug is mixed with heroin and sold on the street.

China has complained recently about Canadian-made cannabis finding its way into China.

But fentanyl going the other way is a far more egregious form of trade.

Marijuana rarely kills. On the other hand, there were nearly 4,000 opioid overdose deaths in Canada last year, most of them involving fentanyl, and this year is on course to be even deadlier.

Compounding the problem for Canada is our relatively weak anti-money-laundering regime.

Illicit gains from fentanyl smuggling are being brazenly cleansed in this country. An investigation earlier this year by The Globe revealed that people connected to the fentanyl trade are parking their illicit gains in the Vancouver-area real estate market through private lending schemes.

It's too early to tell if Mr.Trump's new get-tough stance with China on fentanyl will produce concrete results.

But it's a safe bet that doing nothing will accomplish less.

China wants and needs deeper trade ties with Canada. A commitment by Beijing to take the fentanyl problem seriously should be a key precondition.

Associated Graphic

First responders attend a medical call in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside in September, 2016. RAFAL GERSZAK/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Murray_Campbell Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page