Senate passes legislation restricting imports from Uyghur forced labor

A bipartisan bill to prohibit goods made by enslaved Uyghurs from entering the United States passed the Senate on Wednesday, July 14.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act, sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), passed the chamber by a voice vote on Wednesday. The legislation would restrict the import of all goods made in China’s Xinjiang province, unless it can be certified that the goods were not made with the use of forced labor.

“The message to Beijing and any international company that profits from forced labor in Xinjiang is clear: no more,” said Rubio in a statement following the bill’s passage on Wednesday.

The bill directs the head of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to apply a “rebuttable presumption” that goods made in Xinjiang are made with forced labor unless it can be proven to the contrary.

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