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Rubio, Merkley Applaud Committee Passage of Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Jun 24, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) applauded the Senate Committee on Foreign Relation’s passage of their bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S.65), which will ensure that goods made with forced labor from Uyghurs and others in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the U.S. market. Rubio previously authored the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (P.L. 116-145), the first piece of legislation on Uyghur human rights to be signed into law in the world.  

Rubio is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 

Merkley is the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) and is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 

“Today’s committee passage of this bipartisan bill is a significant step in ensuring Beijing is not profiting from its genocide and crimes against Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang,” Rubio said. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ongoing crimes against humanity. We must enact legislation to prevent products, made with forced labor, from entering our nation’s supply chains. I hope the full Senate will quickly pass this bill.” 

“Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang are being tortured, imprisoned, forced into labor, and pressured to abandon their religious and cultural practices by the Chinese government,” Merkley said, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and the chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). “America can’t stay silent in the face of this genocide, nor can we be complicit—meaning we have to make sure that items produced through such forced labor are not sold on American soil. That’s why it’s so crucial that we pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, ban the importation of these goods, and continue to do everything we can hold the perpetrators of this genocide accountable.” 

Co-sponsors of the bill include: James Risch (R-ID), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Warner (D-VA), James Lankford (R-OK), Tina Smith (D-MN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ed Markey (D-MA), John Thune (R-SD), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Todd Young (R-IN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Angus King (I-ME), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).          

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