US House approves bill restricting goods from China made using forced labor
© WikiMedia (mikepryan)
US House approves bill restricting goods from China made using forced labor

The US House of Representatives voted 406-3 Tuesday to approve HR 6210, known as the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which aims to prevent goods made using forced labor from being imported from China to the US.

The Act was introduced in the House on March 11 and “imposes various restrictions related to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, including by prohibiting certain imports from Xinjiang and imposing sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations there.” The Act states that goods made in Xinjiang will be barred from entering the US “unless Customs and Border Protection (1) determines that the goods were not manufactured by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions; and (2) reports such a determination to Congress and to the public.”

The Act stems from human rights violations in Xinjiang related to the mistreatment and forced labor of Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups. The Act further states that “The President shall periodically report to Congress a list of foreign entities and individuals knowingly facilitating (1) the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang; and (2) efforts to contravene U.S. laws regarding the importation of forced labor goods from Xinjiang. The President shall impose property-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals and entities and impose visa-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals.”

The Act also requires that “Securities issuers required to file annual or quarterly reports with the Securities Exchange Commission shall disclose in such reports certain information related to Xinjiang, including instances where the issuer knowingly (1) engaged in activities with an entity helping to create mass surveillance systems in Xinjiang, (2) engaged in activities with an entity running or building detention facilities for Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, or (3) acquired a significant amount of textiles produced in Xinjiang. After being notified of such a disclosure, the President shall determine whether to investigate if sanctions or criminal charges are warranted.”

The Act has passed in the House and will now move to the Senate for a vote.