Democrat Senator Ron Wyden (OR) blocked a bipartisan effort on Wednesday to advance a bill that would ban imports from communist China’s Xinjiang region — where China is committing a genocide against religious minorities — that were made using slave labor.
“Wyden blocked a bill that would ban goods made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region after Senator Marco Rubio [R-FL] rejected his request to add an unrelated extension of the child tax credit,” Bloomberg News reported. “The bill has broad bipartisan support and was on track for quick final passage by unanimous consent after having cleared the House by a voice vote.”
Nike, which has lobbied Congress to weaken the bill, is the top financial contributor to Wyden.
“I am completely sympathetic to my colleague from Florida, my colleague from Oregon, to the fight against genocide and forced labor,” Wyden claimed. “They got me at hello on their proposition. I also feel incredibly strongly, incredibly strongly about our vulnerable children and our vulnerable families that are going to be cut off from an essential lifeline unless the United States Senate acts.”
Communist China’s genocide of religious minorities led to the U.S. announcing a diplomatic boycott earlier this month for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this month. “The athletes on Team USA have our full support. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from home. We will not be contributing to the fanfare of the Games.”
“U.S. diplomatic or official representation would treat these Games as business as usual in the face of the PRC’s egregious human rights abuses and atrocities in Xinjiang. And we simply can’t do that,” Psaki added. “As the President has told President Xi, standing up for human rights is in the DNA of Americans. We have a fundamental commitment to promoting human rights. And we feel strongly in our position, and we will continue to take actions to advance human rights in China and beyond.”
After the U.S. announced a diplomatic boycott, the following countries joined, according to Axios:
- Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would follow the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott, calling it the “right thing to do.”
- Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that “Canada remains deeply disturbed by reports of human rights violations in China. As a result, we won’t be sending diplomatic representatives to Beijing for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
- United Kingdom: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that no U.K. ministers would attend the Games, saying it was “effectively” a diplomatic boycott.
- Lithuania: Several Lithuanian officials have announced they will not attend the Games, per public broadcaster LRT.
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