Sanctioning Supporters of Slave Labor Act Introduced in Congress


On August 2, 2022, Senators Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) introduced the Sanctioning Supporters of Slave Labor Act, legislation that would expand the categories of people who can be sanctioned under Uighur politics. on human rights. Act of 2020 (UHRPA). Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana) has filed for the House of Representatives.

Currently, the UHRPA imposes sanctions on certain entities and individuals designated by the President as having allegedly committed certain human rights violations in Xinjiang. The bill would expand the scope of this reporting requirement to include “any foreign person who knowingly provides material goods, services or technology to or for a person identified in this report; and each foreign person who knowingly engages in a material transaction relating to any of the acts described” in the UHRPA. If passed, the amendments to the LUHR would become effective immediately upon their enactment and, among other things, would apply to all reports issued under these provisions of the LUHR, including reports issued before, on or after that date. of promulgation.

The framework parallels the secondary sanctions authorized by Executive Order 13818, which targets sanctions to those involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption. Most notably, the Menendez-Rubio proposal includes a knowledge requirement not included in the existing executive framework. The standard of proof for the “knowledge” requirement would be the same as for any other action by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. In short, the agency must have a rational basis for determining that a potential designate acted knowingly. The implications of this requirement may be particularly significant in that, as noted above, the UHRPA changes contemplated by the Menendez-Rubio proposal would come into effect immediately upon enactment, without the benefit of careful regulation. and industry input required to resolve textual ambiguities that may expose the proposal to a high risk of unintended or anomalous results.

The text reflects lawmakers’ continued attention to allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang and efforts to discourage supply chains that affect that region. Proponents of this proposal may seek to attach the wording to a legislative vehicle before the end of the 117e Congress, including the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2023, which will likely be on the Senate agenda in September.

© Copyright 2022 Squire Patton Boggs (USA) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 217

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