US House reintroduces bill to ban goods from China's Xinjiang

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Feb 19, 2021, 09:43 PM(IST)

A Chinese police officer outside a vocational education centre in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The bill would prohibit all imports from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China unless the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection can certify that the goods being imported to the US are not produced, either wholly or in part, with forced labour and the Commissioner submits to Congress a report outlining such a determination

The US House of Representatives on Thursday reintroduced a bill that would ban imports from China's Xinjiang region unless it is certified they are not produced with forced labour and allow further sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for abuses against Muslims. 

"We have watched in horror as the Chinese government first created, and then expanded a system of extrajudicial mass internment camps targeting Uyghurs and Muslim minorities. We now know the entire XUAR economy is built upon a foundation of forced labour and repression," said Representative Jim McGovern. 

According to the Massachusetts Congressman, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would create a 'rebuttable presumption' that any goods made in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are made with forced labour and prohibited from entering the United States unless 'clear and convincing' evidence is shown to the contrary. 

"Many US, international, and Chinese corporations are complicit in the exploitation of forced labour and these products continue to make their way into global supply chains and our country. It is long past time for Congress to act," McGovern added. 

Representative Chris Smith from New Jersey, a Republican, said that the US cannot be silent. 

"Congress must hold the Chinese government accountable and give a strong voice to the millions of Muslim Uyghurs, who are victims of genocide, rape, torture, forced marriages, reeducation camps, and other gross violations of human rights. Chinese authorities had the audacity to deny the existence of mass internment camps and portray them as vocational training centres," he said. 

The bill would prohibit all imports from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China unless the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection can certify that the goods being imported to the US are not produced, either wholly or in part, with forced labour and the Commissioner submits to Congress a report outlining such a determination. 

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