Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Senate colleagues reintroduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. This bipartisan bill will ensure that goods made with Uyghur forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the United States. Earlier this year, the State Department issued a determination that the Chinese Communist Party is committing crimes against humanity and genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

“As the Chinese Communist Party is committing egregious human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, including genocide and crimes against humanity, there is no excuse to turn a blind eye. We must instead do everything in our power to stop them.” Rubio said. “This bill is an important step in that direction. My bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would ensure that the CCP is not profiting from its abuses by stopping products made with Uyghur forced labor from entering our supply chains.”

“For years, the Chinese government has been committing genocide in Xinjiang, subjecting Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities to torture, imprisonment, forced labor, and pressure to abandon their religious and cultural practices,” said Merkley, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and serves on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). “The fact that some of the products they’ve been forced to produce are ending up on American shelves is disturbing and unacceptable. We must ban the importation of these goods to ensure that we are not complicit in the genocide, and fully commit ourselves to holding the perpetrators accountable for these atrocities.”

Additional cosponsors include: Senators James Risch (R-ID), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), John Cornyn (R-TX), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), James Lankford (R-OK), Mark Warner (D-VA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Thune (R-SD), Ed Markey (D-MA), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Rubio is Cochair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee that oversees human rights, and is a member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

Rubio is the author of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-145), the first piece of legislation regarding Uyghurs in the world to be signed into law. 

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