Politics, Americas

US lawmakers vote to ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region because of forced labor

Overwhelming vote targets crimes against Muslims, Uyghurs

Andy Roesgen   | 15.12.2021
US lawmakers vote to ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region because of forced labor

CHICAGO, United States 

The US House of Representatives voted 428-1 to ban all imported goods from China's Xinjiang region unless it can be proven the goods were not made by forced labor.

The Biden administration, as the Trump administration before it, deemed as genocide China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the region.

The administration also warned that it could take action against other governments and companies that do business with Xinjiang and that they could violate US laws on forced labor.

The House bill, called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, requires companies to prove that they do not import goods from Xinjiang that come from forced labor.

The US has accused China of mass detentions, sterilizations, forced labor and genocide against the Uyghurs since 2017.

But proving goods are made freely is difficult and major companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola and solar panel manufacturers rely on a supply chain that goes through Xinjiang.

The House bill will now be reconciled with a version that unanimously passed in the US Senate, and the final version will be sent to President Biden for his signature.

Separately, the House will vote Wednesday on resolutions condemning the Uyghur genocide and the way the Chinese government has handled sexual assault allegations by tennis star Peng Shuai.

She accused a Chinese government official of assault, and serious questions have been since raised about her well-being.

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