Washington, DC – Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding President Biden signing H.R. 6256 into law:
“I welcome the announcement that President Biden has signed H.R. 6256, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, into law. Since 2017, we have seen the People’s Republic of China (PRC) orchestrate an extensive program of detention and forced labor against Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. This landmark law, which bans imports from Xinjiang and imposes sanctions on those responsible for forced labor in the region, is the most impactful step the United States has ever taken to hold China accountable for its egregious and repeated human rights abuses.
“This law is the culmination of the bravery of countless survivors and activists that have come forward, at great risks to themselves and their families, to share harrowing accounts of abuse and shine a light on the PRC’s atrocities. I am thankful to the wider Uyghur community and their allies for speaking truth to power for those who have been imprisoned and silenced. It is because of their tireless effort that the international community is taking action.
“Given the moral urgency this issue demands, I moved this bill through the House Foreign Affairs Committee twice, first as a standalone bill and then as part of my landmark China legislation, the EAGLE Act. I applaud Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Representatives McGovern and Chris Smith, and Senators Merkley and Rubio for their leadership to get this critical legislation to the president’s desk for signature.
“China’s genocide in Xinjiang continues and there is more work to be done in 2022. Congress must once again play the role of watchdog and ally, and call on China to abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law.”