After nearly two years of wrangling over the terms of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act bill, it was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives, and the Senate is expected to vote on it today.
The ban on importing goods from the Xinjiang region of China-made with labor enslaved by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is expected to go into effect soon, according to The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 14.
After it passed the Senate, the White House had already expressed its willingness to have President Biden sign it.
The bill was championed by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who expressed satisfaction with the bipartisan agreement that now supports it.
“The United States is so reliant on China that we have turned a blind eye to the slave labor that makes our clothes, our solar panels, and much more,” Rubio said on his website.
He added: “That changes today. Our Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act will require businesses importing goods into the United States to prove that their supply chains are not tainted with slave labor. It is time to end our economic addiction to China.”
If enacted, this law would ensure that U.S. consumers and businesses no longer remain unwitting accomplices to the egregious human rights abuses perpetrated by the CCP.
Additionally, it would allow for the implementation of other measures against individuals or entities that contribute to the slave labor that Uighurs are forced into, including visa denials and financial penalties.
Some lawmakers wanted the bill to be passed before the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics in February.
Chinese embassy spokesman in Washington, Liu Pengyu, was quick to react, stating that the CCP is “firmly resolved in defending its national interests,” and promised “countermeasures” as a result of the bill, according to the South China Morning Post.
The information obtained from different sources concludes that the CCP subjects millions of members of the Muslim Uighur ethnic group to forced labor, and commits a series of other atrocities against this population, to the extent that the U.S., Canada and Australia declared that it was genocide.
Similar human rights violations are committed against the Tibetan people. Advocates chained themselves to the Olympic rings in front of the Swiss headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to call for a boycott of what many are calling the Beijing 2022 “Genocide Games.”
“Despite mounting international criticism of the IOC and China, the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses in Tibet, East Turkestan, and Hong Kong continue unabated,” said protester Tenzing Dhokhar, campaigns director of TYAE (Tibetan Youth Association in Europe), the largest Tibetan youth organization on that continent.
The CCP also repeatedly violates the rights to freedom of religion and conscience, and persecutes traditional doctrines such as Falun Dafa or Falun Gong and Christianity, among others.