Tom Cotton, Republican senator from Arkansas, proposed legislation to repeal equal trade terms between China and the United States in retaliation for human rights and trade violations. This is the latest US action against the Chinese government. US President Donald Trump has previously mentioned his desire to “separate” the US economy from China.
Mr. Cotton issued a press release with the bill, which will be under consideration in the Senate and Congress.
Twenty years ago this week, he said, the Senate made a gift to the Chinese Communist Party by granting it most-favored-nation status.
This disastrous decision made the party richer, but it cost millions of American jobs.
It is time to protect American workers and restore our influence over Beijing by withdrawing China’s permanent trade status.
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The bill would allow China to maintain its most favored nation status, but it would be reviewed annually by the president and subject to congressional approval.
It also includes a list of factors ineligible for China’s status, including human rights violations and trade violations, but that the president can waive.
This includes forced labor, re-education camps, forced abortion or sterilization, and organ collection from prisoners.
The Cotton release also points to religious persecution, harassment of overseas Chinese who criticize the government, and theft of intellectual property from Americans as disqualifying conditions for the MFN in China under the proposed law.
China was recently found guilty for its reported human rights violations in Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims have been subjected to human rights violations.
More than a million Uyghurs in western Xinjiang are believed to be held in concentration camps according to human rights groups and first-hand accounts from Uyghurs fleeing.
Earlier this week, US Customs and Border Protection issued an order banning Xinjiang products due to allegations of forced labor from Uyghurs.
Ken Cochinelli, who was performing the duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, said: “Communist China needs to close the concentration camps, free its prisoners and end Immediately state-sponsored forced labor program. “Until they do so, the Department of Homeland Security will continue to block illicit goods and prosecute those who benefit from them.”
Trump has also criticized human rights violations in China, and has been outspoken in his criticism of human rights and Beijing’s trade record.
The president has ordered tariffs totaling more than $ 350 billion (270.405 billion pounds) on Chinese goods.
The World Trade Organization ruled that Mr Trump violated global trade laws with tariffs.
The WTO has also found that the tariffs violate the MFN principle of the WTO.
Mr. Trump has also raised the idea of “decoupling” the US economy from China.
“So when you mention the word separation, it’s an interesting word,” he said during a Labor Day press conference.
“We lose billions of dollars and if we do not deal with them, we will not lose billions of dollars.
“It’s called the chapter, so you’ll start to think about it.”