The US bill banning the import of all goods from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), is called H.R. 6256 or The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and it also imposes sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for what it calls ‘forced labour’ in the region.
The US along with the EU, the UK and Canada have already banned the import of Xinjiang cotton so this new bill takes the nation’s response one step further.
Senator Marco Rubiohuman said in a statement earlier this year that once the US Senate bill was passed by the House and signed by the US president, it would help to prevent products made from forced labour in Xinjiang from entering the US supply chain.
He said at the time: “We will not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ongoing crimes against humanity, and we will not allow corporations a free pass to profit from those horrific abuses.”
China has denied the claims of forced labour and believes its policies are lifting the region out of poverty, boosting the economy and countering extremism. It has hit the US and its allies with retaliatory sanctions, straining broader relations with a range of countries.
According to Bloomberg, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters at a regular press briefing in Beijing earlier this year: “The US side hypes up Xinjiang-related forced labour. The true motive is to damage the prosperity and stability in Xinjiang, deprive the Xinjiang people of their right to life, employment and development.”