US House approves bicameral bill to ban imports from Xinjiang

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WASHINGTON – The US House of Representatives passed a final version of the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act, which bans the import of goods made by forced labour in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The House passed the legislation on Tuesday night by a voice vote, sending it to the Senate for consideration, reported Sputnik.

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The House passed its version of the bill last week with a 428-1 vote and the Senate passed its version of the measure by voice vote in July. Both chambers agreed to a final version of the bill this week.

The legislation targets “goods, wares, articles, and merchandise imported directly from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or made by Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, or members of other minority ethnic groups in China.”

In addition, the bill requires the American president to impose sanctions on officials responsible for persecuting Muslim minorities and facilitating the use of involuntary labour.

The legislation also requires businesses to prove their operations do not involve the use of forced labour from alleged work camps in Xinjiang.

The legislative text accuses China of arbitrarily imprisoning as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups in a system of extrajudicial mass internment camps.

The prisoners are forced to produce “textiles, electronics, food products, shoes, tea, and handicrafts” at a network of government-subsidized factories in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China, the legislation says.

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