Hagerty, Blackburn, Britt, Vance Urge Biden Admin to Return China Lab to Entity List

December 4, 2023

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), along with Senators Katie Britt (R-AL) and J.D. Vance (R-OH), in sending a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo raising concerns over the removal of China’s Institute of Forensic Science (the Institute)from the Commerce Department’s entity list. The Senators argue this move will only embolden Communist China and request the U.S. immediately reinstate the Institute’s place on the entity list.

“We write to express our strong concern about this administration’s decision to remove the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s Institute for Forensic Sciences (the Institute) from the Department of Commerce’s Entity List,” the Senators wrote. “This deeply misguided decision to lift sanctions on the CCP—as China continues to indoctrinate our children through social media and poison Americans with fentanyl—will only embolden President Xi. Reports indicate that this decision was made to encourage the Chinese to stop the illicit production and exportation of deadly fentanyl precursors. While we agree that stopping the CCP’s exportation of these precursors is paramount and long overdue, your administration’s strategy is misguided. By preemptively removing the Institute from the entity list, you continue to show weakness on the world stage. When America’s adversary poisons and kills United States citizens, we should not beg or negotiate.”

“We must also continue to stand for human rights around the world. In 2020, President Trump put the Institute on the sanctions list because of their abuse of the Uyghurs,” the Senators continued. “The CCP—and the Institute for Forensic Sciences—subjects the Uyghurs to unthinkable evil. Their vicious, genocidal campaign includes forced sterilization, forced labor, torture, rape, and murder. One would think that standing against the genocide of the Uyghurs would be included in this administration’s newly formed National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia, but it seems that giving the CCP a victory on the world stage is more important to this administration.”

“The CCP is one of the most repressive regimes in the world. If they had any desire to curb the production of fentanyl precursors in their country, they would have already taken action. To preemptively reward them with the removal of sanctions is unconscionable. President Xi will only respond to strength. We must force his hand and make it clear that sanctions will only be lifted after the CCP stops the deadly production of fentanyl precursor chemicals. We ask this administration to reinstate the Institute’s place on the entity list and finally take a strong stance against the genocidal CCP regime,” the Senators concluded.

A copy of the letter can be found here.