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USA passes bill banning products from Xingjian region

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President Joe Biden (Photo by Kevin Dietsch / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The USA has passed a bill banning all the products manufactured from Xingjian region.

The latest efforts by the US are to punish China for the forced labour and genocide of Uyghurs and other minorities in the region, reported Axios.

Senator Marco Rubio from Florida introduced the legislation with Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

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They said in a statement after the passage of the bill that the message to Beijing “and any international company that profits from forced labour in Xinjiang is clear: no more.”

It added that the US would “not turn a blind eye” to the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s “crimes against humanity,” nor “allow corporations a free pass to profit from those horrific abuses.”

Merkley noted that Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang “are being forced into labour, tortured, imprisoned, forcibly sterilised, and pressured to abandon their religious and cultural practices by the Chinese government.”

“No American corporation should profit from these abuses,” Merkley said. “No American consumers should be inadvertently purchasing products from slave labour”.

Xinjiang products are deeply integrated into lucrative global supply chains, and Nike and Coca-Cola were among the major companies to have lobbied against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, reported Axios.

The Biden administration has in recent weeks stepped up sanctions against China’s government and blacklisted companies allegedly tied to the Chinese military or implicated in the genocide.

This bill would go beyond steps taken already to secure US supply chains in the face of allegations of rights abuses in China.

The administration updated an advisory on Tuesday warning that businesses with supply chains and investments in the Chinese region of Xinjiang run a “high risk” of violating US laws on forced labour. The bill must also pass the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign into law. It was not immediately clear when that might take place.

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