On December 8, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (with a 428-1 vote) that bans the importation of goods produced using forced labor by Uyghers and other minority Muslim populations in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. A similar measure has already passed in the Senate.
The bill bans the entry of goods manufactured or produced in Xinjiang unless Customs and Border Protection (1) determines that the goods were not manufactured by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions; and (2) reports such a determination to Congress and to the public.
It also requires that the President periodically report to Congress a list of foreign entities and individuals knowingly facilitating (1) the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang; and (2) efforts to contravene U.S. laws regarding the importation of forced labor goods from Xinjiang. The President shall impose property-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals and entities and impose visa-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals.
The bill includes a provision that requires securities issuers to file annual or quarterly reports with the Securities Exchange Commission that shall disclose certain information related to Xinjiang, including instances where the issuer knowingly (1) engaged in activities with an entity helping to create mass surveillance systems in Xinjiang, (2) engaged in activities with an entity running or building detention facilities for Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, or (3) conducted a transaction with any person sanctioned for the detention or abuse of Uyghurs or other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. After being notified of such a disclosure, the President shall determine whether to investigate if sanctions or criminal charges are warranted.