Friday, December 15, 2006

Free Trade - Chinese Style

The repressive totalitarian government of China allows tons of pseudoephedrine to be smuggled out. Can someone explain to me why China has permanent most-favored-nation trade status.
Mexico halts meth chemical at port
19.5 metric tons -
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mexican officials inspecting a cargo container shipped from China have uncovered a 19.5-ton cache of pseudoephedrine, enough to make a dose of methamphetamine for every adult American.

Hundreds of barrels containing the essential meth ingredient were seized Dec. 5 at the Lazaro Cardenas seaport in Michoacan after a citizen tip, according to Mexico's attorney general. It was the largest seizure of pseudoephedrine or ephedrine in Mexican history and one of the biggest on record worldwide. ...

... U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., said the massive leakage of pseudoephedrine from Chinese commerce underscores that "we need to go to the source" and ensure the chemical is as tightly controlled in China as it is in North America.

"It cries out for law enforcement attention being paid to the entire supply chain," said Larsen, co-chairman of the congressional Methamphetamine Caucus.

Such an enormous seizure suggests that Mexican traffickers, struggling under tight restrictions on legal imports of pseudoephedrine in Mexico, have found illicit sources in the handful of countries that manufacture the chemical. ...

... China "may have very stringent laws, but the question is whether those stringent laws are enforced properly and monitored properly," Wong Hoy Yuen, head of the United Nations project on precursor chemicals in East Asia, said in an interview with The Oregonian earlier this year. ...

... Larsen said the seizure reflects Mexico's effectiveness in reducing legal imports of pseudoephedrine and blocking illicit smuggling of the material into the country. But he said it also has a negative connotation.

"This can be seen as a bit of a feather in the cap of the Mexican authorities, and we should be thankful for that," Larsen said. "But it is also a recognition that there is a huge international trafficking problem for chemical precursors for methamphetamine and that we have a lot of work left to do." (full article)

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