Limits on informal entries, third-party sanctions, and foreign investment restrictions are among the measures recently urged by a House committee specifically focused on combating the challenges posed by China.
The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party was established this year to “build consensus on the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party and develop a plan of action to defend the American people, our economy, and our values.” In a recent report on the CCP’s “systematic policies to suppress the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” and minority populations, the committee asserted that U.S. and international investment in China has contributed to the development and deployment of advanced technology that has enabled such suppression and that existing laws to hold perpetrators accountable and deter further atrocities have not been fully implemented.
The committee further stated that products made with Uyghur forced labor (including apparel, auto parts, solar panels, and agricultural products) continue to enter the U.S. through global supply chains, that U.S. Customs and Border Protection struggles to inspect imports at the scale necessary to enforce forced labor laws and regulations, and that exports of products made with forced labor have helped fund China’s “technologically-enabled surveillance state.”
To counter these trends, the committee recommends that Congress take the following measures. It is unclear at this point when and how this might happen.
- pass legislation to lower the de minimis threshold for duty-free imports (an idea already gaining some support among lawmakers) because exploiting this threshold may be a major avenue through which Chinese companies, particularly e-commerce companies, circumvent the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
- provide additional funding to the Department of Homeland Security to enforce the UFLPA more rigorously (e.g., by conducting more investigations and improving targeting for inspections) and to make a comprehensive list of all companies complicit in forced labor
- call on the White House to (1) expand the UFLPA entity list to include Chinese companies in the XUAR and throughout China with ties to forced labor and (2) make companies outside China that reexport products made with forced labor in China eligible for inclusion on this list
- consider legislation to isolate further already sanctioned entities (e.g., the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps), including through secondary sanctions that force non-U.S. businesses to decide between having access to the U.S. financial system and continuing to deal with those Chinese entities
- pass legislation imposing outbound investment restrictions or providing other disincentives for institutional investors to invest in Chinese companies that support the CCP’s policies in the XUAR
- consider passing the Uyghur Human Rights Sanctions Review Act (H.R. 1324), which would require the Treasury Department to impose sanctions on (and thus prohibit U.S. persons from conducting transactions with) ten Chinese technology companies for their complicity in CCP efforts against Uyghurs
- encourage legislators in democratic countries to pass their own legislation to prevent the importation of goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with Uyghur (or other) forced labor in China
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