US Senate passes bill banning all products made in Xinjiang
By Choekyi Lhamo
DHARAMHALA, July 17: The US Senate on Wednesday passed a law banning all imports from Xinjiang or East Turkestan, in the latest move to reprimand the Beijing administration for ending the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur community. The Uyghur law on the prevention of forced labor would thus create a “rebuttal presumption” which would assume that products made in Xinjiang are made with forced labor, which are therefore prohibited under the Tariff Law of 1930.
The bipartite legislation was passed unanimously, which has now shifted the burden of proof to importers; the rule prohibits goods if there is reasonable evidence of forced labor in the production line. However, the bill must also pass the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Biden to enact.
Introduced to the Senate by Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Jeff Merkley, lawmakers urged the House to act quickly to condemn human rights violations in Xinjiang. “We will not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ongoing crimes against humanity, and we will not allow companies to profit from these horrific abuses,” Rubio said in a statement. The bill is said to have a head start after numerous steps the United States has taken to secure U.S. supply chains in the face of alleged rights violations in China, following existing bans on the sale of tomatoes, cotton and solar products from East Turkestan or Xinjiang.
“No American business should profit from these abuses. No American consumer should inadvertently buy forced labor products, ”said MP Merkley. Democrats and Republicans noted that this legislation would gain strong support in the House as they unanimously approved a similar measure last year. The Biden administration continues to impose sanctions and has also issued a warning to companies that they will violate US law even if the companies are indirectly linked to surveillance networks in Xinjiang.
“Given the severity and extent of these abuses, companies and individuals who do not leave Xinjiang-related supply chains, businesses and / or investments could be at high risk of violating US law. “the State Department said in a statement Tuesday. Rights groups, activists and lawmakers have repeatedly accused the Chinese administration of forced labor by detaining around one million Uyghurs and Muslim minorities since 2016 in large-scale detention centers.