On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives almost unanimously passed a bill to block the importing of any goods manufactured in China as a result of forced labor by Uyghur Muslims and other oppressed minorities, CNN reports.
The bill passed by a margin of 428 to 1, with the sole dissenter being Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). The bill calls for sanctions on “those responsible for human rights violations” in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, the primary location of such labor camps.
In addition to forbidding the purchasing or selling of such goods in the United States, the bill also asks Joe Biden to create a list of any individuals in China who are confirmed to be responsible for the existence and ongoing operations of such camps, including “any official of the government of the People’s Republic of China.” Separate sanctions will be imposed on all individuals who make the list.
On the same day, the House passed another resolution condemning the treatment of Uyghurs as “ongoing genocide” and “crimes against humanity.” That resolution passed by a similar margin of 427 to 1, with Congressman Massie once again being the only member to vote against it.
Separately, efforts to include similar sanctions and language regarding the Uyghurs have been ongoing in the United States Senate. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been threatening to hold up passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), unless the bill included his amendment to impose similar sanctions on China. The House agreed to take up the amendment, and passed the new version of the NDAA bill Tuesday along bipartisan lines, with 363 voting in favor and 70 voting against.
Both the NDAA and the new bill will now head to the Senate for passage before heading to Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.