- US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act”
- This act will ban importing of goods into US made with forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province
- Biden also signed a separate bill on Thursday funding research into a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease
US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act” that bans importing of goods into the US made with forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province.
“On Thursday, December 23, 2021, the President signed into law: H.R. 6256, which bans imports from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) of the People’s Republic of China and imposes sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for forced labour in the region,” the White House said in a press release. Earlier this month, the US Senate and the House of Representatives passed the bill with overwhelming support.
The measure had to overcome some initial hesitation from the White House, as well as corporate opposition, to win final passage last week in the Senate, following earlier House passage. Biden also signed a separate bill on Thursday funding research into a cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The legislation targets goods, wares, articles, and merchandise imported directly from Xinjiang or made by Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, or members of other persecuted groups in China. It also requires the Biden to impose sanctions on officials responsible for persecuting minorities and facilitating the use of involuntary labour.
The US actions come in the backdrop of a growing campaign to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. Five other countries, along with the United States, have already announced a diplomatic boycott of the games to protest against China’s human rights abuses. Meanwhile, China continues to deny accusations of forced labour or percussion of minority communities.
(With agencies inputs)