House GOP calls for an investigation into DHS money used to buy forced labor Chinese solar panels
In a letter submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 18 Republicans are demanding the agency investigate possible federal law violations related to the purchase of Chinese-made solar panels using taxpayer funds.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is a department within DHS.
These concerns revolve around how the money provided by DHS may have been used by the Virgin Islands. FEMA provided $5 billion of the $8 billion in disaster relief to the territory following two hurricanes in 2017.
“We are concerned with federal taxpayer dollars Congress has allocated to FEMA for supplemental disaster relief since 2017 and how they may be used,” the GOP lawmakers wrote in a letter dated Sept. 7 to DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari. Particularly, how the DHS funds could be used to“enrich China, an adversary with a record of human rights abuses and slave labor.”
Since much of the world's polysilicon supply is processed in China's Xinjiang region, where the U.S. government has declared China's persecution of Uyghurs and Muslim minorities genocide and crimes against humanity, the lawmakers warned Chinese solar panels may be manufactured by forced labor.
“Almost 40 percent of the global production of polysilicon, a key component in solar panels, comes from the Xinjiang region, and nearly 85 percent of the world’s solar components are produced in China,” the letter says, before adding that U.S. Virgin Islands’s transition to solar power “will potentially serve to massively enrich China.”
9 Sep 2022