U.S. House Passes Bill to Ban Imports of Goods Made by Forced Labor of Uyghurs in Xinjiang

The United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on Dec. 8 that would ban imports of goods made by forced labor of Uyghurs in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang.

The House approved the H.R. 1155 — also known as the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act — with a vote of 428 to 1.

The legislation prohibits certain imports and imposes sanctions on China for a wide array of imported products sourced in Xinjiang, where reports say Uyghurs are being kept in internment camps.

Under the legislation, goods from the region may only be entitled to enter the U.S. if the U.S. Customs and Border Protection determines “by clear and convincing evidence” that the goods were not produced “wholly or in part by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions” and reports it to Congress.

“This is not a partisan issue. It is a human rights issue. It is a moral issue,” Representative Jim McGovern, the sponsor of the bill, said on the House floor.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on the House floor that the bill “employs America’s great economic might to combat” the abuses against Uyghurs and “hold the perpetrators responsible.”

“And we send Beijing a clear message: this genocide must end now,” Pelosi said.

Republican Representative Thomas Massie cast the sole “no” vote, saying that the U.S. should not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

The bill now heads to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future.

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