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The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

How do American companies get ingredients, medicines, components, electronics, and products so cheap?To many, they are “magically” produced in China, for a reliably low cost, with fast turn around time. In actuality, there is no magic involved at all. Instead, that “magic”, is actually a modernized form of human slavery which allows for western organizations to profit. In the past 50 years, China has begun catching up to America’s economy at an alarming rate. How? Forced labor. For decades American business have over looked the human rights abuse as a result of the Chinese Communist Party. Why? An opportunity to capitalize on China’s massive population, a consumer market which is protected by the Chinese Communist Party’s regime.

Now, Congress aims to pass an international human rights bill which could impact the prices of many imported international products. The legislation, called the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act1” will prevent products made using “forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.”

Historically, and still in use today, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), sentences Chinese citizens who do not comply with communist ideology, to “laogai” or “reform through labor”. There, they are treated like common criminals, many for thought crimes, or their own personal religious beliefs. Often these individuals sentenced to re-education have not been formally told what they have done wrong. The labor is viewed as a way to reform those who resist the authoritative state of the Chinese Communist Party.

The cost of cheap labor

Cheap labor allows American companies to buy CCP products, components, and ingredients at a lower cost. This financially convenient choice allows American companies to maintain a competitive price, while yielding greater profit. Additionally, many U.S. companies who choose to profit off of forced Chinese labor can also profit off of China’s population.

It is a conscience decision to do business with the Chinese communist regime. Those who choose to overlook the inhumane conditioning, forced labor, forced organ harvesting, and other atrocities, gain access to China’s over 1.4 billion2 citizens. A current 18.4%3 of the world’s population resides in China, yet their accessibility is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

Historically, the CCP has been actively involved in expanding their international export and trade since the early days of Mao. Now, many companies, and American mainstream news outlets4, seek to overlook any internal wrongdoing or crimes that the CCPgovernment inflicts against their own Chinese citizens. Xi Jinping has stated5on many occasions that he does not wish to China to invade other countries, and Xi does not expect other countries to be involved in the Chinese Communist Party. Yet American and other international companies have the power to say “no” to the temptation of greater profit through cheap, forced, Chinese labor.

Different international labor restrictions and definitions of human rights abuse may allow domestic products to be sold cheaper, but how many American jobs are lost by using questionably inexpensive Chinese labor? How many U.S. dollars are spent internationally in doing so, which could be spent and invested into the American economy? Even artificial intelligence (AI) replacing factory workers domestically could have the potential stimulate the American economy and workforce greater, than outsourcing internationally to known foreign foes.

Will the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, actually improve the work conditions, and stop the inhumane treatment of the Uyghur people? The U.S. legislation states,

“A bill to ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China do not enter the United States market, and for other purposes.”

The bill specifically states “goods made with forced labor” in the “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China” which cannot “enter the United Statesmarket, and for other purposes”. 

Could this be easily averted by relocating the “re-education facilities” or even the manufacturing fronts used to house forced labor, to other locations? Will the United States government follow up with inspection to test each CCP owned business for compliance?

On December 9th, 2021, Senator Marco Rubio tweeted, “Yesterday the House passed their version of my bill to take on Uyghur slave labor in #China 425 to 1”

“But now Pelosi is blocking it from being sent to the Senate”

“The White House & corporate interests who opposes our bill aren’t going to give up that easy”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated6 via Twitter,“The ongoing genocide perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people and other Muslim minorities is a challenge to the conscience of the entire world, which requires forceful and urgent action by the international community.”

“Last week, @HouseDemocrats took a strong step to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its exploitation of forced labor and put an end to this horrific practice with passage of Chairman Jim McGovern’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”

On December 14, 2021, Chairman Jim McGovern stated7 “Happy to report that Senator Rubio & I just reached an agreement on final text of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.”

“We will be moving our bill through both chambers & to President Biden’s desk as quickly as possible.”


Joint Statement on the Export Controls and Human Rights Initiative 

On December 10, 2021 the White House announced a Joint Statementon the Export Controls and Human Rights Initiative against the Chinese Communist Party.

America, backed by CanadaFrance, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, will work together to create a human rights policy to enforce regulations in China’s exportation.

The White House admitted, “Too often, cyber intrusion, surveillance, and other dual-use technologies are misused to stifle dissent; harass human rights defenders; intimidate minority communities; discourage whistle-blowers; chill free expression; target political opponents, journalists, and lawyers; or interfere arbitrarily or unlawfully with privacy.”

Can the Export Controls and Human Rights Initiative bring justice to the oppressed, dehumanized, and discarded minorities like the UyghursTibetans, and Falun Gong?

Commerce Department’s Entity List

The Commerce Department’s “Entity List”, was originally created by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in 1997 to inform the public against entities who engaged in activities which 

“could result in an increased risk of the diversion of exported, reexported and transferred (in-country) items to weapons of mass destruction (WMD8)”.

This list has since expanded the criteria for making the cut, adding entities based on foreign policy interests far beyond weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The goal is to restrict and block listed entities from gaining access to U.S. technology.

On June 24th, 2021 the U.S. Government stated9 they had added five new CCP organizations to the Commerce Department’s Entity List involved in the human rights abuse against the Uyghurs, Falun Gong, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.

The five newly added entities culpable for their continued participation in the primitive forced labor and re-education tactics against minorities in Xinjiangwere added to an existing 48. These include, 

  • Hoshine Silicon Industry (Shanshan)
  • Xinjiang Daqo New Energy 
  • Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals
  • Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology
  • XPCC 

On July 9th 2021, it was announced10 that 34 more entities had been added to the Commerce Department’s Entity Listfor what was referred to as “crimes against humanity”.

As American legislators continue to promote national public awareness against the communist regime for crimes against humanity, the more people are exposed to the disgusting discrimination partially fueled by U.S. involvement. Many of which hide behind the guise of friendly industry name brands, and low cost prices in America.


Conclusion

While the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act” does leave room for potential CCP deception and loopholes, it is a start towards guilt free purchases in America. Knowing that no person has been forced to make the products which we rely on, reinforces our nation’s stance on human rights, while rightfully walking our nation a few steps back from the aged old regime, which continues to exist under the Chinese Communist Party. It is yet further leverage to allow some form of control over internationally and historically accepted forced labor. By financially contributing, America is a participant in placing value on those held captive, and subjected to these horrific conditions. Will the Commerce Department’s Entity Listimpact human rights abuse in Xinjiang, as well as other regions? Will increasing global regulations prevent known atrocities and more from occurring inside hidden work camps disguised as factories in Communist China?

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