House Speaker Nancy Pelosi clapped back at a reporter this week after she was asked about China’s use of slave labor.
“One of the things that Senator Rubio has said is that the reason why the House has not voted on that Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is because [U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate] John Kerry has lobbied you and others not to act on it and to slow-walk it, so it doesn’t complicate his climate change negotiations with China. Is that true?” asked Fox Business correspondent Hillary Vaughn.
“No, it is not true, and you know, again, if you want to repeat the charges of the Republicans, that’s up to you, but that is completely not true,” Pelosi shot back.
“For over 30 years, I have been the considered the most disliked — they use stronger language than that … in China — because of my assault on their human rights violations, and no, that’s absolutely, positively not true. But you asked the question, so they won their case,” Pelosi said without providing further context or evidence.
Critics were quick to point out that in the past, Pelosi has cozied up to the Communist regime when she found it politically convenient and appears to be doing so again.
“The Biden administration and Nancy Pelosi one-up their absurdity daily. Their willingness to slow-walk human rights legislation that would hamstring China’s slave labor operation is obscene,” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) told Fox Business.
“John Kerry gallivants across the world on his private jet in the name of climate change, while Uyghur Muslims are held in reeducation camps and subjected to forced labor in the name of profit margins for the CCP,” he continued.”Which is more important? That’s a question I would love Speaker Pelosi to answer.”
After the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), legislation banning the importation of goods from China believed to have been manufactured using forced labor, passed unanimously in the Senate over the summer, it is facing hurdles in the Pelosi-controlled House even though it has extensive bipartisan support.
According to the Washington Post earlier this week, the Biden administration appears to be lobbying against the measure, as “Biden administration officials” are “quietly telling lawmakers to slow down” because the White House “prefers a more targeted and deliberative approach to determining which goods are the products of forced labor.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied the Post’s report on Friday.
“I would say we are hardly neutral. We have strong concerns, serious concerns, and we are absolutely not lobbying in any way against the passage of this bill,” she responded after being asked about Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman’s reported position on the issue.
A day earlier, however, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told Fox Business that the issue goes beyond politics and that corporations are now coming to the defense of China.
“Right now, as I speak to you, we’ve got CEOs and companies who are lobbying to kill my Uyghur slave labor bill,” he said. “It basically says that if you buy products that are made in Xinjiang, we are going to presume that they’re made by slaves. They’re working quietly to kill it.”
Previously, Rubio blasted major corporations including Amazon, Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike, and others for “profiting” from Chinese forced labor policies.
The issue comes to the forefront as Beijing prepares to host the 2022 Olympics amid outcries and boycotts from U.S. entities.
Enes Kanter Freedom, center for the NBA’s Boston Celtics who became a U.S. citizen this week, and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) CEO Steve Simon, the latter of whom has already said women’s tournaments have been suspended in China over the abuses, are encouraging lawmakers to pass the legislation.
In an interview with Fox Business, Kanter Freedom said this week that Rubio’s bill “has to pass,” adding “shame on all of those people who are trying to block this bill.”
“It’s just sad to see these companies like Nike and other major companies are using — these athletes are like puppets,” he responded after he was asked about corporations and fellow NBA player LeBron James opposing his views on China’s human rights abuses.
“Those people are in genocide right now. They’re getting tortured and raped every day. Take a second. Is it really more important than that, all the money you’re going to make?” he added.
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