Press Releases

Wexton Introduces Legislation Requiring Disclosure of Imports Tied to Uyghur Forced Labor

Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) introduced legislation to increase transparency into how companies are profiting off forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Recent investigative reporting found that Uyghur detainees are being forced to work in labor camps and factories that feed into the supply chains of more than 80 well-known global brands.

“I’ve met with members of the Uyghur community in my district who have told me heart-wrenching stories of family and friends in Xinjiang who have been brutally detained, pushed out of their homes, and pressed into forced labor,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “American companies should not be complicit in China’s abuse of its Muslim minorities. This legislation will help shine a light on these inhumane practices and provide needed transparency for investors. Once consumers see that the products we use every day -- from the shoes we wear to the phones we text on -- have been tainted by forced labor, I believe American companies will do the right thing and rethink their supply chains.”

The Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act would require U.S.-traded companies that do business in the XUAR to review and disclose information about their supply chains, including whether goods are made in or sourced from internment camps or factories implicated in forced labor practices. If companies are importing goods produced via forced labor, they would additionally be required to disclose the nature and extent to which forced labor was related to the product, what the gross revenue and net profits attributable to those goods were, and whether the company intends to continue the importation of those goods.

Importing products made wholly or in part from forced or prison labor is against U.S. law and international human rights standards. Audits and due diligence efforts to ensure clean supply chains are nearly impossible because of government surveillance and the pervasiveness of  forced labor in the regional economy. 

Wexton has met directly with Uyghur constituents in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District and has heard firsthand stories of family members who have faced brutal persecution by the Chinese government. Wexton has repeatedly called for Global Magnitsky sanctions to be placed on members of the Chinese Communist Party responsible for the oppression of the Uyghur people. Last year, Wexton voted to help pass the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act to condemn the gross human rights violations against ethnic minorities in China.

The full text of the bill can be found here.