On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that would ban imports from China’s Xinjiang region over allegations of forced labor as Congress looks to ramp up the pressure on Beijing.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would create a presumption that all goods made in Xinjiang are produced with forced labor, despite Beijing’s claims to the contrary. US companies that do business in Xinjiang would have the option to appeal and show with “clear and convincing evidence” that their supply chains are free of goods produced by forced labor.
The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House in a vote of 428 to 1, with Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) being the lone no vote. Massie has previously been the sole dissenting vote against legislation that would sanction Chinese officials over Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would also target Chinese officials with sanctions who the US deems responsible for alleged human rights violations. The bill would require the president to present a report to Congress of foreign entities and individuals who are “knowingly facilitating” forced labor in Xinjiang and target them with sanctions.
The Senate passed its own version of the bill by a unanimous voice vote back in July. The House and Senate versions have minor differences, and a negotiated version would have to be agreed on before it goes to President Biden’s desk.