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china trade war

U.S.-China trade negotiations may receive boost from joint opioid smuggling investigation

A joint law enforcement investigation between the United States and China may help inch the two countries closer to a long-anticipated trade deal, Bloomberg reports.

The investigation reportedly revolves around fentanyl smuggling, and China's National Narcotics Control Commission is expected to hold a press conference Thursday about the case, in which officers from both countries will reportedly give a briefing on their cooperation. Fentanyl is a highly addictive painkiller that has played a central role in the opioid crisis, leading to thousands of deaths in the U.S.

Washington has criticized Beijing in the past for not doing enough to stop nefarious opioid smuggling practices, and President Trump has specifically called out Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to live up to a promise to crack down on the practice. But the recent cooperation on the smuggling front may help swing the negotiation pendulum back in the right direction. Bloomberg notes the concession from China, could help Trump sell his negotiation tactics to struggling farms, the U.S. business community, and trade hardliners within his own administration. Read more at Bloomberg.