On February 18, 2021, the House reintroduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (see press and bill) in the 117th Congress. Sponsored by Representatives James McGovern (D-MA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), the legislation updates H.R. 6210 from the 116th Congress and is introduced less than a month after accompanying legislation from Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
The legislation would:
- Prohibit all imports from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China unless the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection can certify that the goods being imported to the U.S. are not produced, either wholly or in part, with forced labor and the Commissioner submits to Congress a report outlining such a determination;
- Authorize the President to apply targeted sanctions on anyone responsible for the labor trafficking of Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities;
- Require financial disclosures from U.S. publicly traded businesses about their engagement with Chinese companies and other entities engaged in mass surveillance, mass internment, forced labor, and other serious human rights abuses in the XUAR;
- Directs the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a public determination whether the practice of forced labor or other human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the XUAR constitute crimes against humanity or genocide, and directs the Secretary to develop a diplomatic strategy to address forced labor in the XUAR; and
- Require a strategy report from the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (established by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act) and regular updates on the steps taken to enforce the import prohibition on forced labor made goods from the XUAR.
For more information on actions addressing human rights and forced labor abuses, please see our previous posts below or contact