WASHINGTON (AP) — For the second time in two weeks, the House on Wednesday approved a bill aimed at cracking down on U.S. imports of goods made with the forced labor of detained ethnic minorities in China.
The bill would require publicly traded companies in the U.S. to disclose whether any of their goods — or any part of their supply chain — can be traced to internment camps or factories suspected of using forced labor of Muslim Uighurs or other ethnic minorities in China.
The ad begins with a mother putting her child to bed and watching footage of riots on her cellphone before falling asleep herself and dreaming that Biden and a Democratic Congress have made massive cuts to police funding. Over footage of a protester smashing the window of a minivan with the mother and her child inside, a narrator warns: “They’ll defund police. They’ll disarm you. Don’t let this nightmare come true.”
The effort comes as Trump has seized on a law-and-order message to try to win back the suburban white women who abandoned Republicans in 2018. With national and several battleground state polls showing Trump trailing or tied with Biden, the president in recent weeks has sought to turn public safety into a top campaign issue as some protests against police brutality and racism have turned violent.
“Moms for Safe Neighborhoods came together because a group of concerned mothers saw Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Democrats calling for diverting money from the police and failing to condemn the violence as it entered neighborhoods across the country,” said Anderson, a mother of two. “They banded together to get their message out to moms everywhere, but also because they understand how critical suburban women are to President Trump’s re-election.”
The group’s “grassroots leadership board” has some heavy hitters of female Republicans, including Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America; Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots; GOP lawyer Cleta Mitchell; and former Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.). Three notable politicians’ wives are also on the board: Debbie Meadows, who’s married to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Kristen Short, the wife of Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff; and Susan Allen, who’s married to former Virginia Gov. George Allen.
Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, is doing this in her personal time. She previously worked in the Trump White House as associate director for intergovernmental affairs and strategic initiatives at the Office of Management and Budget.
A bill aimed at shining a light on corporations benefiting from the use of China’s forced labor camps, which have targeted Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, passed the House in a 229-187 vote on Wednesday.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act of 2020 – spearheaded by Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) – would require companies that are publicly traded in the United States and do business within the region to disclose information on their supply chains, including whether their products could be made by forced labor.
Proponents of the legislation argue it is a step in the right direction in taking a stand against human rights abuses in the region.
“This legislation is essential to protect American investors and consumers through stronger disclosure requirements alerting them to Chinese and international companies whose operations enable the mass internment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said during debate.
“It represents a clear and material risk to shared values and the corporate reputations of these companies and US investors and consumers,” McGovern added.
Critics argued that while they agree the United States needs to take action to crackdown on human rights violations, certain provisions in the bill that could place unnecessary regulatory burdens on companies. Republicans also took aim at Democrats for not having the bill go through the committee process.
“While the bill takes strong action to ensure American businesses are not complicit in China’s forced labor programs, there are outstanding concerns in the bill that may harm U.S. businesses. For instance, the bill requires public companies to file disclosures with the SEC if they imported manufactured goods or other materials that originated in or are sourced in the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and disclose whether those goods originated in forced labor camps,” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) said on the floor ahead of the vote.
“These entities would also have to disclose the nature and extent of the commercial activity related to each good or material, the gross revenue, and net profits attributable, and whether they intend to continue importing the goods. China’s atrocities against Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups must come to an end and we voted on that bill yesterday in a bipartisan fashion.”
The bill was brought to the floor as Republicans have repeatedly slammed Democrats over not being hard enough on China, making it a key component of their campaign strategy.
Video: U.S. House passes stopgap funding bill to avoid government shutdown (Reuters)