US House of Representatives considers bill to cut products from China’s Xinjiang

A worker is seen in Youngor's cotton spinning mill, in Aksu, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region
FILE PHOTO: A worker is seen in Youngor’s cotton spinning mill, in Aksu, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Dominique Patton

December 3, 2021

By Michael Martina and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives will consider a bill as soon as next week that would ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region due to concerns about forced labor, said Representative Jim McGovern, a sponsor of the project. law, told reporters on Thursday.

“Next week is an important week for human rights,” said McGovern. “… We think it’s important to change some of China’s laws, hopefully most of which focus on human rights. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act that we would like to see crosses the finish line in some form. “

President Joe Biden will host a summit of democracies next week, seen as an attempt to push back against China’s growing influence.

Republicans and Democrats have argued over Uyghur law for months. Most recently, Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked that the measure be included as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, causing the Senate to delay a review of the policy setting. Big annual bill for the Pentagon.

Rubio’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the passage of the House bill by McGovern would change his stance on the defense bill.

If the Uighur measure becomes law, it would create a “refutable presumption” that all goods from Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has set up an extensive network of detention camps holding Uyghurs and other Muslim groups, were made with forced labor.

China denies abuses in Xinjiang, which supplies the world with much of the world’s raw materials for solar panels, but the US government and many human rights groups say Beijing is committing genocide there. .

Republicans have accused Biden’s Democrats of being slow to enact the law because it would complicate the president’s renewable energy agenda. Democrats deny that.

“I just want to see a much stronger, stronger approach when it comes to forced labor in Xinjiang,” Democratic Representative Dan Kildee told Reuters in a phone interview.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sam Holmes) US House of Representatives considers bill to cut products from China’s Xinjiang


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