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Saturday February 23rd, 2019 1:58AM

Schumer announces fentanyl sanctions bill before China talks

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat is introducing legislation to sanction traffickers who export fentanyl into the United States.

Sen. Charles Schumer will announce the Fentanyl Sanctions Act on Sunday in New York.

He says the legislation aims to "hold China accountable." U.S. officials believe China is the main source of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids that have been flooding the U.S. markets.

The bill is likely to add to growing tension between the two nations as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lead high-level trade talks in China this week.

Schumer's bill would direct U.S. officials to publicly identify foreign opioid traffickers and prohibit them from doing business using American banks. It also requires the U.S. to create a commission to monitor synthetic opioid trafficking.

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