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US bars imports from 26 Chinese textile firms over forced labor

US places Chinese chipmakers on trade blacklist
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The United States said Thursday it is blocking imports from dozens of China-based textile companies, citing forced labor concerns surrounding their products.

Out of the 26 new additions to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act entity list, 21 were deemed to source and sell cotton from China’s northwestern Xinjiang region on the wholesale market.

Five others were also found to procure cotton from the region.

The targets include cotton traders and warehouse facilities within China, mostly operating outside of Xinjiang.

Beijing has been accused of incarcerating over one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a network of detention facilities in Xinjiang — although officials strongly deny this.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act bans the import of all goods from Xinjiang unless companies offer verifiable proof that production did not involve forced labor.

“We will continue to execute on our textile enforcement strategy and hold the PRC accountable for their exploitation and abuse of the Uyghur people,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

Thursday’s announcement marks one of the biggest expansions to the list, said the Department of Homeland Security.

The additions come into effect on Friday.

“Chinese cotton produced with forced labor in Xinjiang is flooding the global marketplace and entering the US market as downstream products,” said Kim Glas, president of the National Council of Textile Organizations.

Glas added that this undermines US domestic producers, saying the expansion of the list “sends a strong message to known offenders, enterprises and governments” that Washington is stepping up enforcement on the matter.

Since the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was signed into law in late 2021, 65 entities have been added to its entity list.

They span sectors like apparel, polysilicon, batteries and electronics.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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