Florida Politics

Biden Blacklists More Companies Using Uyghur Slave Labor, Rubio Demands More


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently added twenty-six more Chinese companies, primarily from the textile industry, to the list of blacklisted entities under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). However, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued a brief response, saying these entries should have been made sooner and calling for more significant pressure on China.

"While the inclusion of these entities is long overdue, it's concerning that the Biden Administration has once again failed to include exporters who are complicit in slave labor practices. At a time when companies continue to enrich themselves from forced labor, DHS must prioritize including entities who are sending slave-made products into the U.S.," said Sen. Rubio.

The Florida Senator reintroduced the UFLPA in January 2021, where it faced difficulty in the Senate that November despite initial unanimous support, which Sen. Rubio blamed on lobbyists working on behalf of companies that profit from Uyghur forced labor.

Nevertheless, President Biden signed the bill into law in December 2021, which Rubio called "the most important and impactful action taken thus far by the United States to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their use of slave labor."

In June of 2023, Rubio reminded his fellow Senators that the Chinese fast fashion company Shein used products made with cotton sourced from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the location of these slave labor facilities.

"Shein's spin and legal maneuvering cannot hide its crimes. I will continue to work to enforce UFLPA and close the trade loopholes that allow Chinese firms to undercut American producers and escape accountability. I invite you to join me in these urgent efforts to hold accountable Shein and other companies that are complicit in genocide," the Florida Senator urged the Senate.

In November, Shein filed an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to be on the US Stock Market, sparking demands for scrutiny from Rubio's colleague Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) this January, demanding the New York Stock Exchange (NYE) and NASDAQ ensure the company is transparent over its use of Uyghur forced labor.

Rubio wrote a similar letter about Shein to Securities and Exchange Commissioner Gary Gensler in February, demanding enhanced disclosure procedures be applied to the company and rejecting their entry to the stock market if necessary.

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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