Home Business US Ban on Imports from China’s Xinjiang Begins Tuesday

US Ban on Imports from China’s Xinjiang Begins Tuesday

US Ban on Imports from China’s Xinjiang Begins Tuesday
Source: BBC

As on Tuesday, imports from China’s Xinjiang province would be prohibited in the United States under new laws.

Firms will have to certify that goods from the region are not made using forced labor under the laws.

According to US authorities, members of the region’s minority Uyghur group, which is largely Muslim, have been arrested and forced to labor.

China has often denied allegations that it holds Uyghurs in Xinjiang detention camps.

Several products from the resource-rich region have previously been prohibited in the United States, including cotton and tomatoes.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which is set to take effect on Tuesday, will expand the prohibitions to all imports.

The measure sends “a strong message that we will no longer be complicit in the Chinese Communist Party’s use of slave labor and grave crimes against humanity,” according to a statement released late last week by US senators.

“Congress is ready to work with President Biden and his administration to ensure that this historic measure is completely and rigorously executed,” stated US Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and two others.

Since April 2017, China has jailed over a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, according to the US Congress.

It claims that tens of thousands of inmates have worked in Xinjiang and other regions “under the cover of poverty alleviation and industrial aid programs” for “a fraction of the minimum wage or without any remuneration.”

China also “interferes with audits and traditional due diligence efforts in Xinjiang to vet commodities and supply chains… including by intimidating possible witnesses and hiding crucial information,” according to the report.

China has denied using forced labor, claiming that the Xinjiang camps are “re-education” centers designed to combat terrorism.

Wang Wenbin, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, recently described charges of forced labor as “an out-and-out absurd fabrication manufactured by some hostile parties.”

However, media reports based on leaked information and first-hand testimony from within the camps have shown an organized system of mass rape, sexual assault, and torture of ethnic minorities.

Human rights organizations have also accused China of steadily robbing Uyghurs of their religious and other freedoms through widespread monitoring, incarceration, brainwashing, and even forced sterility.