Biden signs bill punishing China for Uyghur abuses

President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: US reaffirms support for Ukraine amid threat of Russian invasion The Fed has a clear mandate to mitigate climate risks Biden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' MORE on Thursday signed into law a bill that aims to punish China for human rights abuses against ethnic and religious minorities in the Xinjiang region.

The bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent last week, bans imports of goods from China’s Xinjiang region unless individuals or companies demonstrate that the materials were made without forced labor.

The bill, called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, is the latest effort by the U.S. to punish China for alleged abuse of millions of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. The U.S. has accused China of committing genocide against Uyghurs.

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Last week, the Biden administration blacklisted elements of China's biotechnology sector that officials said are involved in human rights abuses. 

In a statement announcing that Biden had signed the legislation, the White House thanked the legislation’s cosponsors, Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithLawmakers seek 'assurances' Olympic uniforms not linked to forced labor Biden signs bill punishing China for Uyghur abuses Last living Nuremberg Trials prosecutor deserves Congressional Gold Medal MORE (R-N.J.) and Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Manchin, Sinema join GOP to sink filibuster change for voting bill Senate GOP blocks election bill, setting up filibuster face-off MORE (D-Ore.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPut partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Lawmakers press Biden admin to send more military aid to Ukraine MORE (R-Fla.), as well as House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMan who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerForced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Predictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure MORE (D-N.Y.).

Rubio in a statement Thursday called the legislation “the most important and impactful action taken thus far by the United States to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their use of slave labor.”

“It will fundamentally change our relationship with Beijing,” Rubio said. “This law should also ensure that Americans no longer unknowingly buy goods made by slaves in China. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration and my colleagues to ensure the new law is implemented correctly and enforced properly.”

The legislation passed the House in a voice vote last week after a compromise version was worked out and passed the Senate thereafter.

The White House did not initially take a position on the legislation but expressed support for the compromise version last week.

“The Administration will work closely with Congress to implement this bill to ensure global supply chains are free of forced labor, while simultaneously working to on-shore and third-shore key supply chains, including semiconductors and clean energy,” White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOn student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet Part of US military support package arrives in Ukraine Biden seeks to save what he can from Build Back Better MORE said in a statement last week.