Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act – A Step to Weaken Chinese Economy in Long Term

President Biden has signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law on December 23, 2021, a bipartisan bill to ensure that commodities created with forced labour in the People’s Republic of China’s do not enter the US market  and does not form part of US economy. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, law would alter US policy toward China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR, or Xinjiang), with the purpose of preventing American entities from sourcing goods which directly or indirectly supports usage of forced labour in manufacturing those goods..

Law will aim at stopping the importation of any goods whether mined, manufactured or produced, wholly or in part in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region including coordination and co-operation with Mexico and Canada for putting an end to such import.

United States will work in the direction for preventing, denouncing, ending human trafficking and restoring the lives of those who are affected by human trafficking. This will be applicable in all the scenarios whether such force labour is sponsored by foreign Government or not and will include prevention of arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, severe deprivation of liberty, including mass internment, and persecution targeting religious or ethnic group. Apart from Uyghurs, law will also apply to protect Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Tibetans communities inside China.

Under the law, measures will be taken to increase transparency of supply chain, tracking the origin of commodities, and identifying third-country supply chain channels for determining whether forced labour have been employed during the process of mining, producing, or manufacturing of  the goods inside the Chinese region.

A comprehensive description and evaluation will be made of list of entities engaged in mining, and manufacturing of such goods and articles using forced labour including list of such products and list of entities exporting products to US from China. Under the law, United States will enhance the bilateral and multilateral coordination and will engage with partners and allies on a sustained basis to end forced labour of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Tibetans communities.

The US State Department has already recognised and declared the atrocities against the Uyghurs to be genocide and crimes against humanity, earlier this year. US State Department has labelled Chinese Communist Party as Marxist-Leninist regime, which exercises power over Chinese people through brutal measures. CCP has brutally treated the Uyghur community, a Muslim minority population living primarily in Western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

According to speaker Nancy Pelosi the Chinese government has continued the extermination and genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. Chinese act of brutal force is a scar on the conscience of humanity, forcing United States to pass the legislation, for holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its use of forced labour and put an end to this heinous practise. She said that Chairman Jim McGovern deserves praise for his vision and dedication to this move. Passing of the legislation is a moral imperative for values of United States and economic priority for our workforce. US cannot allow a situation in which American workers and businesses are forced for competing with forced labour. If United states fails to stand out for human rights in China because of financial interests, US will lose any moral authority to do so anywhere in the world.

Law will play a significant role in protecting human rights but will make US imports costlier. Major US companies e.g., Intel will be impacted by the bill. The move will also hurt textile industry as 22% of the world’s cotton is produced by China out of which 84 percent of originates from Xinjiang. Major US retailers will have to move the Xinjiang based products out of their shelves. In the long run US will source alternate supply chain for these products and will weaken the Chinese economy. The move will have economic as well as Geo-political implications if China moves its Rare Earth supplies to Xinjiang as China is the World’s largest supplier of rare metals and minerals.

Bureau Galactik Views

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