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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill on Tuesday that would push for sanctions against China over its mass detention of Uighur Muslims. The bill would also restrict U.S. technology and AI exports to China that could be used to facilitate detentions.

Driving the news: President Trump signed a bill to reaffirm U.S. support for Hong Kong's autonomy last week in the face of massive pro-democracy protests. In the midst of critical trade talks, China warned that it would take retaliatory measures over the Hong Kong bill if it became law.

What's next: The Uighur Act, which has bipartisan support, will head to the Senate for a vote before likely reaching Trump's desk.

What they're saying: The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to the bill by saying that the issue in Xinjiang, the northwest region in which 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominately Muslim minorities are believed to be detained, is "China’s internal affair," and it "urged the U.S. to correct its mistakes and stop the bill from becoming law," Reuters reports.

Background: The State Department imposed visa restrictions in October on Chinese government officials believed to be complicit in or responsible for the mass detention and surveillance of as many as 1 million Chinese Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.