House Bill Bans Imports From Xinjiang, China Over Slave Labor
In an overwhelming vote Wednesday night, The House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Act, which bans Americans from importing goods made from forced labor in the Xinjiang province of China.
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, passed 428-1, with only Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie voting against it. A companion bill sponsored by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio passed the Senate by voice vote in July. The House passed the same bill in September 2020, however, the Senate did not take up the bill before the end of the previous congressional session.
The legislation was co-sponsored by 111 members from both parties and passed under suspension of regular rules, due to its strong bipartisan support.xc
428-1:House passed Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,legislation banning the importation of goods made with forced labor in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.Bill by Rep. McGovern (D-MA) now heads to Senate,which passed its own version of the bill by voice vote in July. pic.twitter.com/c6tcz8V85Q
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) December 8, 2021
“This is a strong, bipartisan bill with a simple purpose: to stop the government of China from exploiting the Uyghur people,” McGovern said in a statement. “In two months, the Chinese government will host the Winter Olympics in the middle of a genocide. We must take a clear moral position to stand with those who are suffering because of forced labor. No more business as usual. I am especially grateful to Speaker Pelosi for her longstanding and principled leadership on this issue and for getting it to the floor for a vote, and I urge the United States Senate to quickly pass this bill and get it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.”
Federal law prohibits the importation of products made with forced labor, and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act creates the presumption that all products made in Xinjiang are made with forced labor. If a company wants to import products from Xinjiang, it would be required to provide “clear and convincing evidence” that the products were not made with forced or convict labor.
Several major companies and trade groups, including Apple, Coca-Cola, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, lobbied against the bill and seven Apple suppliers have been named in media reports as employing forced labor.
Both the Trump and Biden administrations found that China is committing genocide against Uyghurs in Xinjiang and is forcing Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities into labor in factories run by the Chinese government. They are also reportedly victims of electric shock torture, organ harvesting, and mass rape.