WASHINGTON— Today, Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks and RSC Member Ken Buck each introduced bills to hold the Chinese Communist accountable for its genocide and enslavement of Uyghur Muslims. Both pieces of legislation have been endorsed by NBA free agent Enes Kanter Freedom who announced his support for these bills at RSC lunch yesterday.
The Sanctioning Supporters of Slave Labor Act sponsored by RSC Chairman Banks and RSC National Security Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson and co-sponsored by Reps. Claudia Tenney, Doug Lamborn, Lisa McClain, Ken Buck, Greg Steube, Kevin Hern, Brian Fitzpatrick, Guy Reschenthaler, Yvette Herrell, Brian Babin, Rick Allen, Mike Johnson, Dan Meuser, Debbie Lesko, Carlos Gimenez, Michael Waltz, Diana Harshbarger, Barry Moore, Dan Newhouse, Bill Huizenga, John Rose, Doug LaMalfa, Chris Smith, Madison Cawthorn and Jake LaTurner would expand current sanctions against individuals and entities involved in using Uyghur Muslim slave labor to also encompass those enabling or supporting such individuals.
The Countering Atrocities through Currency Accountability Act sponsored by sponsored by Rep. Buck, and co-led by Chairman Banks, Rep. Lance Gooden and Rep. Ritchie Torres, and co-sponsored by Reps. Joe Wilson, Kevin Hern, Bill Long, Yvette Herrell, Madison Cawthorn, and Greg Steube would authorize special measures by the Secretary of Treasury to restrict certain accounts and types of transactions within a jurisdiction such as Xinjiang, China where genocide and/or crimes against humanity are being committed.
RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Banks said: “As representatives in Congress, we cannot turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide and enslavement of Uyghur Muslims in Communist China. This bill sends a strong message to supporters and enablers of Uyghur slave labor that they are not welcome in the U.S. economy.”
RSC National Security Task Force Chairman Joe Wilson said: “I am grateful to support both of these pieces of critical legislation by the Republican Study Committee, and to co-lead Chairman Banks’ Sanctioning Supporters of Slave Labor Act to hold accountable the enablers of China’s genocide and forced labor against the Uyghur Muslims.”
Rep. Ken Buck said: “No pair of shoes, solar panel, or any other product made using forced labor in China should ever be allowed to make its way onto the American market. This timely bill shuts down the ability of Chinese companies who use forced labor to be a part of United States supply chains and adds an important layer of sanctions to ensure this policy aim translates into practice. As China digs in its heels defending its atrocities against its own people, congressional action is imperative to ensure our forced labor sanctions seal off the perpetrators of these crimes from our country’s supply chains.”
The bills are also supported by Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) Action, Heritage Action for America, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s Stand for America.
Outside Group Support:
Maseh Zarif, Director of Congressional Relations, FDD Action said: “Private sector actors should now be on notice: enablers of the Chinese Communist Party’s heinous abuses targeting Uyghurs and other minority groups will face increasingly severe costs for their complicity. This bill is an important effort to strengthen the sanctions architecture countering Beijing’s campaign of genocide and crimes against humanity.”
Tim Chapman, Executive Director of Stand for America said: “ Stand for America supports and applauds Rep. Jim Banks' legislation to crack down even further on China's horrific use of Uyghur slave labor. Companies now have a choice to make between propping up Communist China's human rights abuses and doing business with the United States.”
Michael Sobolik, Senior Fellow of the American Foreign Policy Council said “When it comes to punishing the Chinese Communist Party for the Uyghur genocide, Washington needs to turn awareness into action. One of the best steps policymakers could take — a step this bill takes — is penalizing the worst CCP offenders with secondary sanctions. It’s not enough to block perpetrators of genocide from doing business with American companies; we need to make it harder for them to do business with the rest of the world.”
Michael Stumo, CEO of the Coalition for a Prosperous America said “The passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 was a huge step forward in the fight against forced labor and all the atrocities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but it is critical that we also hold accountable those who are guilty of aiding and abetting sanctioned individuals and entities. We welcome the introduction of this important legislation that will strengthen the enforcement of existing law by establishing secondary sanctions to punish those who are complicit in supporting bad actors. Going forward, Congress and the administration must comprehensively strengthen U.S. sanctions policy on China by harmonizing existing policies, closing loopholes, and imposing secondary sanctions where necessary.”