Bipartisan Bill Blocking Imports Made With Uyghur Forced Labor in Xinjiang Signed Into Law
Do you support or oppose the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act?
What’s the story?
- A bipartisan bill to crack down on the use of forced labor from Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minorities who are persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday.
- The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act passed the House on a voice vote and then cleared the Senate by unanimous consent. It sanctions foreign individuals and companies involved with the use of forced labor in Xinjiang and bans all imports from the region through a presumption that products made in part or in whole are tainted by forced labor. The ban takes effect in 180 days.
- Businesses can seek exemptions from the import ban by providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection with “clear and convincing evidence” that their supply chains are free of forced labor. Enforcement of the import ban will be coordinated with Canada and Mexico under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
- While it ultimately garnered broad bipartisan support, the legislation stalled during the last session of Congress with the House and Senate unable to reach an agreement amid a lobbying push against the bill, including Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike, among others. Victoria’s Secret, Patagonia, and L.L. Bean have all said they’re reworking their supply chains after being named in a report as using Chinese cotton from Xinjiang in their products. Intel apologized in China on Thursday for sending a letter to its suppliers asking them to not use labor or products from Xinjiang
- Similar issues arose in the current Congress, with the Biden administration opposed to initial drafts of the bill reportedly due to concerns it would block imports of polysilicon, which is material used inside most solar panels, and potentially make it more difficult to meet climate goals. The Washington Post reported that Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry told lawmakers it would take five to 10 years to move the global supply chain for solar panels away from Xinjiang.
- The bill’s lead sponsors were Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the Senate, and Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) in the House. Rubio praised the bill’s enactment in a statement:
“This is the most important and impactful action taken thus far by the United States to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their use of slave labor. It will fundamentally change our relationship with Beijing. This law should also ensure that Americans no longer unknowingly buy goods made by slaves in China. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration and my colleagues to ensure the new law is implemented correctly and enforced properly.”
- President Joe Biden signed the bill in the Oval Office without a formal signing ceremony and press in attendance. Biden tweeted, “The United States will continue to use every tool at our disposal to ensure supply chains are free from the use of forced labor — including from Xinjiang and other parts of China.”
- Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
- U.S., Australia, Britain, and Canada Announce Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics (12/8/21)
- Should the U.S. Ban All Solar Panels Made in China With Forced Labor From Uyghur Muslims? (11/2/21)
- U.S. Declares China is Committing ‘Genocide’ Against Uyghur Muslims (1/21/21)
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Radio Free Asia / Fair Use)
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I’m glad a stand is being taken against this but I hope more is done than just this law
Not only should this bill pass. China needs to pay a “Carbon” tariff for not participating in the Paris accord. Items that come from areas where coal plants are part of the production there should be a sliding scale for maximum “tariff” for coal carbon pollution. Climate is a world issue not a western society planet problem the carbon tariff could be used to supplement solar to battery charging systems for US and European consumers.
No one should be forced to work. That’s slave labor.
This is good.
I support banking goods made by slave labor, but I oppose any mandate, anytime, by any official, about any subject. Congress must pass a law ending this tool of enslavement.
I support it if it actually does anything. The fact that he didn’t have reporters in the room and he did not make a big deal out of it tells me that it’s probably worthless.
It's time to get tougher on China. Biden has done more to be tough on China than Trump ever did. Heck, Trump actually admires their dictatorship.
Isn’t slavery outdated ?
Ok, now we are back to being one of the countries that is against slavery. Ok, good job! I like it when I recognize a good thing that my country is doing. Thank you! Good job!
The biggest question I have is how badly will this impact the Bidens and Swallwells?
Forced labor…! Nowhere!
Biden has a back bone
if we don't quit treating each other & the planet we live on like shit ultimately we won't survive yes, some will only because of the sheer numbers but, we haven't any excuse not to do better, change my mind!
wow, so the U.S. cares about forced labor?!? good, lets close all for profit prisons, and stop using incarcerated people as slave labor. Provide housing for all, so people aren't forced to work slave wage jobs or become homeless. Then the U.S> can point fingers. Side note: why do we continue to sell arms to Afghanistan, and fund Israel with all the human rights offenses they continue to commit? We don't blink an eye when they stone a woman to death for adultery, or when Israeli soldiers shoot a 6 year old for throwing rocks at a tank.
Do your job. We are all Americans. There is only one law that of the people.
It's about damn time!!! This has gone on for how long now? Once we found out about the forced labor, ties should have been cut. Children, not just adults have suffered over there for greed for too many years! Would you like to be forced to work and not be paid? It's a disgusting monstrous practice and yet this country keeps buying products from them! Why? This country doesn't know how to stand on it's own two feet and produce things we need anymore. It was handed off to others to do the dirty work because too many Americans are lazy and think it's beneath them to work hard and do what these slaves have to do every day of their lives.
We must show our morals and integrity to the world in our foreign dealings. We don’t always do this but any time we can, we should .
Its the right thing to do. The Uyghurs are being used as unpaid slaves. Abominable!
Of course I support attempting to stop forced labor. I also support imprisoning all corporate executives who use the products of forced labor in their markets. This seems to me to be the usual bs from Congress. We are delighted to punish CHINA but god forbid you lay a finger on the criminals like Sacklers murdering 600,000 by falsifying the addictive qualities of their pain medication. Even worse than that, because of their shenanigans thousands of pain management clinics and real doctors were put out of business and millions of people suffer constant pain because they are viewed as drug seekers. Let's outlaw the Sackler family. How about the Walton clan? Paying so little their employees must have Public Assistance to survive. How about putting the David Green bunch in prison for depriving their employees of birth control because of their ridiculous religious "belief". Far, far too little is done to protect Americans, but by god we can at least stand up for the Uyghurs!