During the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) on January 9-10, 2023 President Joe Biden, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau directed the formation of a senior-level Trilateral Fentanyl Committee to guide priority actions to address the illicit fentanyl threat facing North America. On April 13, 2023, U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall convened the first meeting of this committee with Mexican Secretary of Security Rosa Icela Rodríguez and Canadian National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas at the White House.
The trilateral committee recognized synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, as the foremost drug threat in North America. Under the North American Drug Dialogue, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will prioritize four areas for enhanced coordination, focusing on current and emerging synthetic drugs, drug demand and public health, drug trafficking modes and methods, and illicit finance. The three North American governments will work together to disrupt the global transfer, facilitation, and supply of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals, and the equipment (such as pill presses) used in their illicit production before they reach the Western Hemisphere. The trilateral committee pledged to coordinate international actions to mobilize other countries impacted by synthetic drugs, including methamphetamine, captagon, and tramadol.
The three governments further committed to enhance drug surveillance capabilities in our countries and share best practices in the upcoming trilateral public health summit in June. North American governments will also develop shared recommendations on enhanced voluntary reporting for suspected chemical diversion by private chemical, shipping, and e-commerce industries. As part of this process, the three governments will develop a shared understanding of the North American market for legitimate uses of synthetic precursors. The three countries committed to meeting again this summer and continuing to build on existing frameworks of cooperation, including the North American Drug Dialogue, the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities, and the U.S.-Canada Opioid Action Plan.
The Canadian delegation included National Security and Intelligence Advisor Jody Thomas, Canadian Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman, and Chief of Staff to the National Security and Intelligence Advisor Ramzi Nashef.
The Mexican high-level delegation included Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Security Rosa Icela Rodríguez, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Esteban Moctezuma Barragán, and Chief Officer for North America at the Foreign Ministry Roberto Velasco.
The U.S. delegation included Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Cohen, and Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Todd Robinson.