Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) applauded the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) announcement for adding to the Entity List 11 Chinese companies implicated in gross human rights violations and abuses targeted at Muslim minority groups from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). These companies provided direct support to the Chinese government and Communist Party’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, involuntary collection of biometric data, and genetic analyses. This includes two subsidiaries of Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), a genomics company with ties to the Chinese government, that Senator Rubio has repeatedly called for additional oversight of.
 
“I applaud today’s action by the Trump Administration to ensure that U.S. technology does not aid the Chinese Communist Party’s crimes against humanity and egregious human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, including the forced collection of DNA,” Rubio said. “The Chinese Communist Party is employing a systematic campaign of brutality against  Uyghurs and other Muslims, and international companies regularly turn a blind eye to the atrocities because business is good in China. The international community cannot stand idly by as Beijing continues in its efforts to wipe out the ethnic and cultural identities of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.”
 
On March 12, Rubio along with Senator Merkley and nine other colleagues, introduced the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S. 3471) to counter China’s coercive exploitation of Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang for labor. The bill would create a rebuttable presumption, banning the import of all goods from Xinjiang and forced Uyghur labor outside the region, unless the companies could provide “clear and convincing evidence” that their products were free of forced labor. China’s policy of forced labor is tainting U.S. and other global supply chains in textiles, agricultural products, consumer electronics, and, now, according to a recent New York Times investigation, personal protective equipment including face masks.
 
On October 30, 2019, Rubio and Senator Grassley asked Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma for an update on the status of a congressionally mandated report which requires CMS to detail the circumstances in which CMS may be funding entities that process Americans’ genome or exome data in China or Russia. Last Congress, Rubio secured a measure to prevent Americans’ DNA from going to Chinese and Russian labs for analysis in the FY19 appropriations package.
 
Last year, Rubio and Grassley urged the HHS Acting Inspector General to examine potential payments made to U.S. entities with partnerships to genomics companies affiliated with the Chinese government, including WuXi and BGI. Both WuXi and BGI have publicly touted their partnerships with the Chinese telecom company Huawei, a state-directed actor used by the Chinese government and Communist Party to undermine U.S. companies and steal intellectual property and trade secrets. The FBI has identified national security risks related to sharing genomic data, and recognizes China as a country that is a primary source of those risks. 
 
Rubio is Co-Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) as well as a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Acting Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.