WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The House of Representatives has passed Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton’s (D-Va) bill that would require U.S. publicly listed companies to review and actively audit supply chains for forced labor. The bill, co-sponsored by Congressman James P. McGovern (D-Ma), passed on a bipartisan vote.
Wexton says some U.S. companies are involved in Chinese forced labor, carried out by the government, against ethnic Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The U.S. believes over one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minority ethnic groups are being detained in “reeducation camps” across China.
If Wexton’s legislation passes in the Senate, the Securities and Exchange Commission would require publicly traded companies to disclose which of their manufactured goods and materials come from forced labor in Xinjiang. 80 global brands, including U-S based clothing and electronics companies, use forced labor from those camps.
Northern Virginia is home to a large Uyghur population. Last week, Wexton spoke with a few of them, via virtual roundtable, whose family members have been detained in labor camps.