Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the Senate floor ahead of the Senate’s passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The bill, which Rubio first introduced with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and James P. McGovern (D-MA) in 2020, will ensure that goods made with slave labor from Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the U.S. market. The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Video of his remarks is available here and a full transcript is below.
“For those who are not familiar with it at this point, it basically says that you can't import products into the United States that are made by slave labor in Xinjiang, or from entities that are associated with the government of that region. And if you're a company who is manufacturing in that area, you’re going to need to prove that slaves didn't make it. The presumption is on you.
“It's already illegal, by the way, to bring goods made with slave labor; it's been that way since the 1930s. And yet it's still happening.
“And we know it's happening at an alarming, horrific rate with the genocide that we now witness being carried out by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang region. And this bill, which we hope here in a few moments passes today, will head to the President, become law, and it will help tremendously in stopping that from happening.
“Many companies have already taken steps to clean up their supply chains. And, frankly, they should have no concerns about this law. For those who have not done that, they’ll no longer be able to continue to make Americans — every one of us, frankly — unwitting accomplices in the atrocities, in the genocide that’s being committed by the Chinese Communist Party.”