Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Unanimously Passed in the House

( Despite John Kerry’s effort to lobby against legislation to ban Chinese products made through slave labor, the House unanimously passed a new version of the bill Tuesday evening.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act passed by voice vote after Republicans and Democrats agreed on the revised version of the legislation that removed the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill.

The bill will have to return to the Senate for a final vote before President Biden can sign it.

In a statement on Tuesday, Jen Psaki said the President will sign the bill to “hold the People’s Republic of China accountable for genocide and human rights abuses and to address forced labor in Xinjiang.”

The initial version of the bill, which passed the Senate in July, spent the last several months languishing the House. During that time, Climate Czar John Kerry was actively lobbying against the bill. Kerry opposed the legislation because he believed it would only increase tension with China at the very time Kerry is trying to secure a climate change deal with Beijing.

Kerry also argued that the US can’t, on the one hand, tell China to do more to help deal with climate change while on the other hand sanctioning their solar panels and making it harder for China to sell them.

While Kerry’s efforts to kill the bill in the House failed, Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden held the bill hostage on Wednesday, blocking the bill in an effort to extend the expiring child tax credit and force the confirmation of some of Biden’s nominees.

It should be noted that Wyden gets a whole lot of money from several top executives at Nike, a company that relies on forced labor in China. Like John Kerry, Nike has been lobbying heavily against the bill.

Last year, the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China concluded that Nike, which is based in Wyden’s state, was one of several corporations believed to either directly employ forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Province, or sources materials from suppliers who do.

In a span of just two weeks in September, Nike executives made a total of over $60,000 in contributions to Wyden, who is running for reelection in next year’s midterms.

Finally, on Thursday, the Senate was able to reach a compromise with Wyden, offering a vote to confirm Biden’s ambassador to China in exchange for a vote on the bill. The Senate voted unanimously.

The bill now awaits President Biden’s signature.