On Thursday, Joe Biden, the President of the United States, signed a bill into law to block imports from the Xinjiang region of China unless businesses need to prove that they made items without forced labor. It is the latest move in a series of increasing American penalties against the world’s second-largest China for alleged abuses.
The president’s measure had to overcome some preliminary opposition from the White House, including the resistance at the corporate level, to win final approval last week in the Senate, following previous House passage. On Thursday, Joe Biden signed another bill funding research into a cure for the disease of low Gehrig.
On Twitter, the president said that he signed the bilateral Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law. Further, he wrote that the U.S. would continue to use all means at its disposal to certify supply chains of products are free from the use of forced labor, including from the Xinjian region and other parts of the country.
Today, I signed the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The United States will continue to use every tool at our disposal to ensure supply chains are free from the use of forced labor — including from Xinjiang and other parts of China. pic.twitter.com/kd4fk2CvmJ
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 23, 2021
The act is a part of the American pushback against the Chinese treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority, which the U.S. marked genocide. This month the Congress passed the bill after representatives reached a deal between the Senate and House versions. Key to the lawmaking is a rebuttable assumption that undertakes all goods from the Chinese province Xinjiang, where China set up confinement camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, made with forced labor.
Severe Violation of International Law
It would block imports unless the businesses proved that they made items without forced labor. Some goods, like polysilicon, tomatoes, and cotton used in solar-panel manufacturing, are a high priority for enforcement action. On the other hand, China refuses in the Xinjiang region, a major cotton producer that also provides much of the materials of the world for solar panels. The Chinese Embassy in Washington said that the act ignores the truth and brutally slanders the human rights situation in the region.
The embassy further added that the latest move from the United States is a severe violation of law and norms internationally and heavy interference in the internal affairs of China. In addition, the country firmly rejects and strongly condemns it, according to the emailed statement of embassy spokesman Liu Pengyu. He also said that China would react further after developing the situation but not elaborate.
Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, said the U.S. president’s approval of the law underlined the American commitment to tackling forced labor, including the framework of the current genocide in Xinjiang. Blinken stated that the department devoted to working with Congress and their interagency associates to continue tackling Xinjiang forced labor and bolster international action against the violation of human rights.
The Biden law will direct a hundred million annually between 2022 and 2026 into research into the disease of Lou Gehrig, a chronic neurodegenerative illness also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other conditions like it. Moreover, it will create funding programs and provide preliminary access to possible treatments for patients who are rejected into clinical trials.