This week, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Rick Scott and Marco Rubio–showcased their support for a proposal to ensure federal funds are not used to buy solar panels made in China.
Last week, Scott introduced the “Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act” which will “prohibit federal funds from being used to buy solar panels manufactured or assembled in Communist China, specifically the Xinjiang province, which is known for its use of forced labor.”
Rubio is co-sponsoring the measure. Other backers include U.S. Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wy., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and John Kennedy, R-La.
“No taxpayer dollars should be used to prop up the Communist Party of China, which is committing a genocide against the Uyghurs under General Secretary Xi’s direction, continues to threaten our ally Taiwan and strip basic rights from Hong Kongers,” Scott said on Tuesday. “Reports show that many solar companies rely on materials and labor from Communist China’s Xinjiang province, which is known for forced labor and horrific abuse of the Uyghurs. My Keep China Out of Solar Energy Act, which prohibits the use of federal funds to buy solar panels from Communist China, sends a clear message to General Secretary Xi that the United States will not turn a blind eye to his genocide and human rights abuses.”
“Beijing has made it clear that to do business in China, you must leave American values behind. As the Chinese Communist Party is actively committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities, it forces American companies to look the other way while profiting from its egregious human rights violations, including forced labor. The CCP’s crimes should not be fueled by American taxpayer dollars,” Rubio said.
The bill would have the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) “develop standards and guidelines to prohibit federal funds from being used to purchase solar panels manufactured or assembled by entities with ties to the Communist Party of China” and have the U.S. comptroller report to Congress on how many solar panels the federal government buys from China. The bill would also have the OMB examine the supply chain for solar panels
Scott’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.