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Wexton Amendment to NDAA Would Target Uyghur Forced Labor

Washington, DC -- Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would ensure goods made in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) imported into the United States and sold in the military commissary and exchange systems are not made with forced labor. 

"American companies that import from the XUAR have a legal and moral obligation to audit their supply chains to ensure the products they import are not manufactured using forced labor, otherwise they risk being complicit in the oppression of the Uyghur people,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “The U.S. Government must take all precautionary measures to ensure that products sold on our military bases are not made using forced labor and my amendment would provide much-needed transparency to help accomplish this goal. We must do everything we can to shine a light on these inhumane practices."

Wexton’s amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to issue rules to require companies that import products or materials from the XUAR to audit their supply chains to ensure imports are not produced with forced labor. If a company finds forced labor in its supply chain, they would have to certify whether or not they intend to continue sourcing from the region.

Investigative reports have exposed a systemic use of forced labor in the XUAR that feeds into the supply chains of dozens of well known brands, and a number of U.S. companies have recently been found to source products directly made in factories that rely on forced labor. Importing products made wholly or in part from forced or prison labor is against U.S. law and international human rights standards.

In March, Congresswoman Wexton introduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act to increase transparency into how U.S.-traded companies are profiting off forced labor by requiring them to review and disclose information about their supply chains, including whether goods are sourced from internment camps or produced via forced labor and the revenue and profit attributable to those goods. Wexton also 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.

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.

The full text of the amendment can be found here.