China’s Deadliest Export: Fentanyl


This week we learned that US trade with China is way down. But there’s one disturbing exception: fentanyl. Thousands of Chinese companies are capable of manufacturing ingredients needed to produce the drug and exporting them to the West, along with instructions on how to create fentanyl powder.

Many of these companies are state-owned enterprises, according to Allison Fedirka, my guest this week. She says there is no denying that China’s government is involved with the fentanyl drug trade to the US.

Allison Fedirka is the director of analysis at Geopolitical Futures (GPF). My readers are familiar with the in-depth work of George Friedman and his team at GPF.

Fentanyl is the number one cause of drug overdoses in the US. The involvement of Mexico’s drug cartels, and the possible expansion of fentanyl production into Columbia, has elevated this into a national security concern for the US.

Ironically, Allison thinks that US intervention to thwart illicit fentanyl distribution into the US can also serve as a platform to strengthen US-Latin America relations.

There are other China concerns unfolding, and Allison and I cover them in our conversation, including:

  • How fentanyl finds its way from China to the US.

  • The role of Mexico’s drug cartels in the fentanyl trade.

  • The surprising profit margins that fuel this drug trade.

  • The need to counter the influence of China in Latin America.

  • Who has the weaker hand in Latin America, China or the US?

  • Is China trying to gain a foothold in Cuba as leverage against the US?

  • Has the US hit the limit of its ability to handle major geopolitical conflicts?

You can see our conversation on YouTube by clicking the image below.

A full transcript of our conversation is available here.

More information about Allison Fedirka and her work at Geopolitical Futures can be found here. You can get a special Mauldin Economics discount on GPF’s research by clicking here.

Thanks for joining me this week at Global Macro Update. Please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel. It helps us attract new viewers.

You can send me your comments on Twitter @EdDAgostino.

Best regards,


Ed D’Agostino
Publisher & COO

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