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US initiates legislation to impose sanctions on China

The ‘COVID-19 Accountability Act’ was introduced in the upper chamber of Congress, on Tuesday. This legislation  empowers President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if it doesn’t provide an explanation of the events leading up to the outbreak of the coronavirus. 

The proposed law makes it an obligation for President Trump to make a certification to Congress within 60 days that China has provided a full and complete accounting to any COVID-19 probe led by the US. The certificate will also encompass the role of China’s allies or the UN affiliates such as the World Health Organization in spreading the disease. 

In the absence of this certificate, the President would be free to impose a range of sanctions on China. These could pertain to asset freezes, travel bans, visa revocations, restricting US financial institutions from making loans or underwriting to Chinese businesses and prohibiting Chinese firms from being listed on American stock exchanges.

“China refuses to allow the international community to go into the Wuhan lab to investigate. They refuse to allow investigators to study how this outbreak started. I’m convinced China will never cooperate with a serious investigation unless they are made to do so. This hard-hitting piece of legislation will sanction China until they cooperate with the investigators,” said US Senator Lindsay Graham, the author of the act.

With more than 250,000 deaths and over 4 million cases of infection, USA is the country that has been worst affected by the disease.