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Congress Passes New Monstrosity To Restrict Trade From China

June 22, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, was signed by President Biden in December and is set to go into effect in June. The question now is how extensive it will be. The onus of proof is placed on the almost impossible task of “proving the negative”: that is, producers must show proof that their products have not involved any “coercion” on the labor that went into it. The sanctions presently target materials for solar panels, textiles, and tomatoes, but this could also be expanded to include coal, petroleum, gold and electronics.

Obviously, the sanctions are aimed at causing difficulties for China in Xinjiang where they are also interested in maintaining high employment. Unemployed workers are a sure source of unrest for the government. But what about American consumers who see the price of their garments, their solar energy costs, as well as the costs of tomatoes soar. “Shooting oneself in the foot” is a mild comparison to make in this respect. Shooting oneself in the head is more appropriate.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to a question on the act at a press conference on June 21. “The U.S.’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is built on a lie and designed to impose sanctions on relevant entities and individuals in Xinjiang,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

“This move is the furtherance of that lie and an escalation of U.S. suppression on China under the pretext of human rights. Moreover, the act is solid evidence of the U.S.’s arbitrariness in undermining international economic and trade rules and global industrial and supply chains. 

“The act is a clear indication that the U.S. is seeking to engender forced unemployment in Xinjiang through legal form of actions, and to make the world decouple with China. It fully exposes the U.S.’s hegemonic nature—a country that violates human rights and breaks rules in the name of preserving them. China strongly condemns and firmly opposes these acts and will act forcefully to uphold the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and nationals,”

Wang said.

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