Teaming up again with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oreg., this week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., brought back the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”
Rubio’s office offered some of the details of the proposal.
“This bipartisan bill will ensure that goods made with Uyghur forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the United States. Earlier this year, the State Department issued a determination that the Chinese Communist Party is committing crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang,” Rubio’s office noted.
“As the Chinese Communist Party is committing egregious human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, including genocide and crimes against humanity, there is no excuse to turn a blind eye. We must instead do everything in our power to stop them.” Rubio said. “This bill is an important step in that direction. My bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would ensure that the CCP is not profiting from its abuses by stopping products made with Uyghur forced labor from entering our supply chains.”
“For years, the Chinese government has been committing genocide in Xinjiang, subjecting Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities to torture, imprisonment, forced labor, and pressure to abandon their religious and cultural practices,” said Merkley, who, like Rubio, sits on both the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). “The fact that some of the products they’ve been forced to produce are ending up on American shelves is disturbing and unacceptable. We must ban the importation of these goods to ensure that we are not complicit in the genocide, and fully commit ourselves to holding the perpetrators accountable for these atrocities.”
Rubio rounded up more than 25 cosponsors including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. The bill was sent to the Foreign Relations Committee this week.
Last year, Rubio and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., teamed up on the bill which cleared the U.S. House on a 406-3 vote in September. However, Rubio’s bill stalled before the Foreign Relations Committee.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.
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