On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Illicitly produced synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and its analogues are playing an increasing role in this crisis, with fatal overdoses attributed to such drugs soaring from less than 3,000 in 2012 to more than 28,000 in 2017.

The Trump administration has claimed that a crackdown on illicit Chinese manufacturing of fentanyl and construction of a “wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border will stem the flow of illegal drugs and save lives.