Washington (AP) —The United States announced on Wednesday that it would block imports from China’s major cotton producers because it relies on workers detained as part of a crackdown on ethnic minorities in northwestern China.
The Customs and Border Protection has issued an order to suspend shipments from the state-owned Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. A US company trying to import goods from a company must prove that it was not made by forced labor of Uighurs or other ethnic minorities subject to crackdowns.
In July, the US Treasury added XPCC to the sanctions list, banning Americans from conducting financial transactions with the company. This is the sixth company from the Uighur region and has been blocked by customs in recent months.
Still, the new order represents an escalation of US efforts to put pressure on China over a campaign in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, authorities have brutally imprisoned more than one million people as part of an effort to assimilate ethnic and culturally different ethnic minorities into the dominant Han Chinese. culture.
According to the Workers’ Rights Consortium, a non-governmental organization, XPCC controls about one-third of the Uighur region’s cotton production and about 6% of the world’s cotton.
“CBP’s actions are a big blow to all brands that intend to continue to source cotton from the Uighur region,” said Scott Nova, Group’s Executive Director, in a statement.
US authorities did not appoint a company importing goods produced by XPCC when announcing trade measures.
“The systematic abuse of Chinese forced labor in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region should confuse all American businesses and consumers,” said CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan. “Forced labor is a human rights violation that hurt vulnerable workers and brings unfair competition to the global supply chain.”
The Trump administration’s actions occur when Congress declares all commodities produced in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region probably the product of forced labor and therefore considers legislation banning imports into the United States.
The bill passed the House of Representatives in September with overwhelming bipartisan support, but still has to clear the Senate.
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said the government is also considering a total ban.
Some companies and groups of companies oppose the ban on the entire region, claiming that it harms legitimate producers and manufacturers because there is no effective way to inspect and audit suppliers. The region is home to tomatoes, appliances, cotton and textiles.
China has challenged widespread and consistent reports of abuse and abuse of Uighurs and other minorities, defending the campaign in an effort to crack down on extremism, and a vast network of camps for vocational and language training. Claims to be.
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