Arizona bans government contracts with Chinese labor camps

Arizona recently signed HB 2488, prohibiting the state from contracting with a company unless the entity provides certification that it does not use Uyghurs for forced labor.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Justin Wilmeth, R-Phoenix. The nine bipartisan co-sponsors included Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu; Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix; Frank Carroll, R-Sun City West; Rep. Joseph Chaplick, R-Scottsdale; Steve Kaiser, R-Phoenix; Jennifer Longdon, D-Phoenix; Teresa Martinez, R-Casa Grande; Quang Nguyen, R-Prescott Valley; and Representative Amish Shah, D-Phoenix.

On June 7, HB 2488 passed unanimously in final reading. The bill was then signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey on June 13.

“This is my 10th bill to pass into law this session. And it’s one that I’m extremely proud of because it’s a way for Arizona to make a statement and oppose communism and the tyranny,” Wilmeth said after the bill was signed into law.

The bill responds to the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority population known as Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province of the People’s Republic of China.

According to the Congressional Research Service, “The PRC government pressured many Uyghurs, including former detainees, to accept employment in textiles, clothing, agriculture, consumer electronics and other labor-intensive industries. Some factories using Uyghur labor are linked to global supply chains. Uyghurs who refuse to accept such employment, which often involves heavy surveillance and political indoctrination, risk detention.

Rep. Wilmeth noted the parallels between Uyghurs and other oppressed groups in the past.

“As a student of history, I know what happens when good people remain silent,” said Rep. Wilmeth, “This new law, which was passed with strong bipartisan support, sends a clear message that the State of Arizona will not do business with anyone who turns a blind eye to this horrific human rights violation.

The bill states: “A public entity may not enter into or renew a contract with a company unless the contract includes a written certification that the company will not, during the term of the contract, use forced labor of Ethnic Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China. .”

Public entities include all government organizations related to the state of Arizona, while businesses include all for-profit businesses.

The bill goes on to note that “if a company that has provided a written certification… realizes during the term of the contract that it is not in compliance… the company must notify the public entity within five working days. »

HB 2488 is one of multiple government actions aimed at addressing the issue, following similar domestic legislation, such as how US Customs and Border Protection blocked suspected forced labor products from Xinjiang. since October 2019.

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Post expires at 1:38am on Wednesday June 29th, 2022