Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act signed into law


Date: Dec. 23, 2021
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and Ranking Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, today issued the following statement on the enactment of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R. 6256)--the bipartisan legislation Smith cosponsored to stop U.S. imports produced by slave labor, including from China's Xinjiang Region, where the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other Central Asian minorities:

"Today's enactment into law of the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act I cosponsored with Congressman Jim McGovern is an important and necessary step toward ending--or at least mitigating--the United States' complicity in Xi Jinping's horrible ongoing genocide against his own people.

"By prohibiting imports unless clear and convincing evidence shows the goods were not produced with forced labor, this new law will help ensure the United States is not aiding and abetting the Chinese Communist Party in their horrific human rights violations.

"I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure this new law is implemented and enforced to the fullest extent possible in order to hold the Chinese government accountable for its gross human rights abuses and abject cruelty towards people of all faith--which has evolved at Xi Jinping's personal direction into genocide against the Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang."

Smith, who has chaired 74 congressional hearings on China's human rights abuses, is the author of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2018 and lead Republican cosponsor of the legislation signed into law today. He was targeted with sanctions by the Chinese government in August of 2020 for his tireless advocacy and legislative work to promote human rights.