Goods made in China by slave laborers are prohibited from entering the U.S. under a new measure sponsored by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-F) and signed into law earlier this month.
Introduced last year by Rubio and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act will prevent goods made with the slave labor of Uyghurs and other predominantly ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and elsewhere in the People’s Republic of China from entering the U.S.
Uyghurs are predominantly Muslims residing in the Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China. According to the U.S. State Department, over the course of the past four years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has carried out a mass detention and political indoctrination campaign against the group, and has forced them to work in adjacent or off-site factories that produce goods including garments, food products, building materials, energy components, face masks, pharmaceuticals and cleaning supplies.
Under the Act, American companies manufacturing goods in that area must prove that those products were not made by slave laborers.
Rubio said the measure holds the PRC accountable for its use of slave labor.
“It will fundamentally change our relationship with Beijing,” said Rubio who is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the ranking Senate member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), and vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “This law should also ensure that Americans no longer unknowingly buy goods made by slaves in China.”
Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was passed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 16. It was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 23.