US passes Bill requiring firms to disclose connection with forced labour in China’s Xinjiang

Lawmakers from the Lower House of the United States Congress have passed legislation that would require US-listed companies to disclose if their supply chains are connected to forced labour in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.
Uyghurs women take part in a protest during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.(AP photo)
Uyghurs women take part in a protest during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.(AP photo)
Updated on Oct 01, 2020 07:19 AM IST
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Washington | ByAsian News International | Posted by Niyati Singh

Lawmakers from the Lower House of the United States Congress have passed legislation that would require US-listed companies to disclose if their supply chains are connected to forced labour in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.

The “Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act” was passed on Wednesday (local time) in a 253-163 vote by the US House of Representatives, South China Morning Post reported.

The Bill would require US companies to disclose whether any of their supply chain -- can be traced to internment camps or factories suspected of using forced labour of Uyghur or other ethnic minorities in China. The measure will now head to the Senate for consideration.

Republican Representative Bill Huizenga said that their party was in “robust agreement” with Democrats about the need to combat forced labour.

During the debate on the House floor, Huizenga accused Democrats of pushing through an “empty window dressing bill that hurts US investors and companies but unfortunately simply pays lip service to the Uygurs”.

Meanwhile, Democrats said that only US-listed companies should be subjected to heightened scrutiny over forced labour in Xinjiang.

Last month, the House of Representatives had passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to ban imports of products into the US that were made with forced labour in Xinjiang and sanction individuals involved in labour trafficking.

The Trump administration announced earlier in September that it will immediately block imports made in Xinjiang to end alleged forced labour practices.

Human rights groups have accused the Chinese authorities of detaining more than a million people, mostly Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz, in a network of detention centres as part of an assimilation campaign.

China has denied the charges, saying the camps were built for vocational and Chinese language training.

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