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Blackburn urges answers on removal of CCP from Dept. of Commerce entity list


FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., is seeking answers from the U.S. Department of Commerce on why the Chinese Communist Party’s Institute for Forensic Sciences was removed from the department’s Entity List, which restricts trade from certain groups or individuals. 

Entities listed by Commerce are typically involved in activities contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. The trade control list includes foreign individuals, businesses, research institutions, government organizations and other branches that are subject to specific licensing requirements for the export, re-export or transfer of certain items. 

“This deeply misguided decision to lift sanctions on the CCP — as China continues to indoctrinate our children through social media and poison Americans with fentanyl — will only embolden President Xi,” Marshburn wrote to the department’s secretary Gina Raimondo on Friday. 

Sens. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; JD Vance, R-Ohio; and Katie Boyd Britt, R-Ala., co-signed the letter. 

WHITE HOUSE RECOGNIZES ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN FIGHT AGAINST FENTANYL, DRUG TRAFFICKING 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The department reportedly removed the CCP-run institute in hopes of halting China’s illicit fentanyl precursor exports. 

“While we agree that stopping the CCP’s exportation of these precursors is paramount and long overdue, your administration’s strategy is misguided,” Blackburn wrote. “By preemptively removing the Institute from the entity list, you continue to show weakness on the world stage.”

“We must also continue to stand for human rights around the world. In 2020, President Trump put the Institute on the sanctions list because of their abuse of the Uyghurs. The CCP — and the Institute for Forensic Sciences — subjects the Uyghurs to unthinkable evil,” the letter continued. 

Blackburn also linked America’s fentanyl crisis to the Biden administration’s border policies and urged a focus on border security measures and to “punish the criminal Mexican cartels who have partnered with the Chinese to poison Americans with fentanyl.”

MEXICAN CARTELS’ DRUG DEALINGS ‘TOP PRIORITY’ AS FENTANYL POURS ACROSS SOUTHERN BORDER, DEA SAYS

Fentanyl billboard

A billboard put up by Families Against Fentanyl displays its message in El Monte, California, on April 6.  (Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

In July, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that the Chinese communist regime “bears responsibility” for helping tackle the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. — pointing to areas in which China can assist the U.S. in stopping the drug getting into the country.

“The precursor chemicals, many of which have legal use, the precursor chemicals, the pill presses that are used to manufacture fentanyl, it’s extremely easy to manufacture, it’s extremely quick, it’s easy to conceal,” he said at the time. “We seized vertical, long vertical candles that were hollowed out with pills. China bears responsibility. We need their assistance in interdicting the chemicals and pill presses that are going in volumes that don’t reflect legitimate use.”

HOUSE HOMELAND GOP REPORT ACCUSES MAYORKAS OF ‘INTENTIONAL’ DERELICTION OF DUTY OVER BORDER CRISIS

The U.S. and China flags

A New York Times report explained that tensions between the U.S. and China have threatened exchange student programs, which have been an anchor of goodwill between the two superpowers. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

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Illicit fentanyl is typically created in Mexico by cartels in labs with the use of precursors shipped over from China. The U.S. has called for an international coalition to combat the crisis and has appealed for help from both China and Mexico.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 



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