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Brady: It Is Vital That We Stop the Scourge of Modern-Day Slavery in China

December 08, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) today submitted the following statement for the record as the House began consideration of H.R. 1155, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act:

“Ending forced labor—and holding China accountable for these gross abuses of human rights—must be a global effort. America should lead the world in halting China’s brutality, and all democracies around the world should join us. 

“As I’ve said many times, this is a completely bipartisan issue, as demonstrated by the overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House on a similar bill in September 2020. The United States has no tolerance for China’s human rights abuses, in Xinjiang or anywhere.

“There are real challenges to further tighten the dragnet around China and force it to eliminate atrocities, while supporting legitimate trade. All of us agree: we want to create opportunities for our producers to comply with the law while removing forced labor from our global supply chains.

“And just as important, we must urge our trading partners to work with us.

“Inexplicably, this entirely bipartisan issue has been pushed to the back burner, with Democrats delaying consideration for 14 months. And Ways & Means did not mark this bill up or update the trade provisions in any way. This is difficult to understand, because a core provision of this bill, which is the rebuttable presumption that importation of goods made in Xinjiang must be blocked because they are made with forced labor, is clearly in our Committee’s jurisdiction.

“This issue is not only bipartisan. It’s bicameral. Both the House and the Senate have strong bills that send a clear and unequivocal message: the United States has zero tolerance for these abuses.

“While I’m disappointed that this was delayed, taking strong action today is an important step. 

“Republicans support strong and effective legislation that addresses China’s atrocities while supporting legitimate trade, and I look forward to working with the Senate to perfect our approach and enact this bill into law promptly. 

“It is vital that we stop the scourge of modern-day slavery in China.”