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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Priorities For President Biden’s Meeting With President Xi Taking Place Today

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on President Biden’s upcoming meeting with President Xi, the recent bipartisan CODEL trip to China led by Senator Schumer, and the importance of stopping the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today, President Biden will meet face-to-face with President Xi Jinping during the APEC summit in San Francisco.

One month ago, President Xi said during our bipartisan CODEL that there are at least a thousand reasons for China and the United States to have a good relationship. Today, President Xi has the chance to show he’s serious on at least a couple of those reasons.

Above all, I look forward to President Biden following up on our CODEL’s conversation with President Xi in order to get serious on combatting the spread of fentanyl. Fentanyl was one of the biggest issues we raised with President Xi during our bipartisan CODEL, and I relayed it to Jake Sullivan earlier this week that the president should be strong on this issue during this meeting. One specific issue we raised was for Chinese law enforcement to coordinate with U.S. law enforcement and enforce laws already on the books to stop the sale of precursor chemicals that go into the making of fentanyl.

Let’s be clear: fentanyl is an American crisis with roots in large part in China, where large chemical companies openly sell precursor chemicals to buyers in places like Mexico, where it is manufactured by gangs into fentanyl and then sold in the United States.

When my colleagues and I met with President Xi a month ago, we were blunt in how fentanyl was devastating our communities and that China must recognize its role in combatting this crisis.

I told President Xi that China taking steps to crack down on the sale of precursor chemicals would be a great, great deal for them. The benefit they’d see in a boost in American goodwill would far more than outweigh the tiny cost on their economy. Any good businessman would see that this would be a great trade. 

President Xi seemed receptive to our concerns, and I believe that there’s a good chance we’ll get some good news come out of today’s meeting.

So, I thank President Biden for his leadership as he meets with President Xi for the second time in office. It was our experience that President Xi was responsive when we spoke candidly and with specifics. I know President Biden will do the same today.