United States restricts Chinese apparel and tech products, citing forced labor

US bans Chinese products believed to be made by forced labor

US To Block Chinese Products From 'forced Labor' By Uyghurs - Pledge Times

The Trump administration on Monday announced new restrictions on imports of apparel, hair products and technology goods from certain Chinese companies, saying those entities had used forced labor in the Xinjiang region to make their products.

European Union observers are free to visit Xinjiang to "truly understand" the situation in the northwestern region where Beijing is accused of widespread rights abuses against the Uighur population, China said Tuesday.

"It is a concentration camp, a place where religious and ethnic minorities are subject to abuse and forced to work in heinous conditions with no recourse and no freedom", Mr Cuccinelli told the Associated Press.

The Trump administration is stepping up pressure on China over human rights issues.

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, dismissed the notion that the facility is a "vocational" center as has been portrayed by Chinese authorities.

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United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Monday said she was discussing a possible visit to Xinjiang with Chinese authorities who are facing a growing backlash over the treatment of the ethnic Uighurs.

DHS said Xinjiang entities whose products will be blocked from entering the United States include all products made with labor from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center; hair products from the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park; apparel produced by Yili Zhouwan Garment Manufacturing and Baodung LYSZD Trade and Business Co.; cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co. "This is modern-day slavery practice".

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had earlier issued five Withhold Release Orders (WRO) to uphold the ban.

The US-China relations have deteriorated after the COVID-19 outbreak, with President Donald Trump squarely blaming Beijing for allowing the disease to spread across the world.

Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Morgan said these WROs apply to shipments from those regions, but if producers use a middleman, the products may still be able to reach the American market.

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Sixteen individuals, including academics from U.S. and European universities, co-signed the letter, which said there was "mounting evidence" that "crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place" in Xinjiang.

Among the measures under consideration is an order banning cotton and tomatoes from the entire Xinjiang region, a move that could have significant economic effects.

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said USA businesses need to do extreme diligence when acquiring goods from overseas, especially China and other places with a history of using forced labour.

There is plenty of room for cynicism about US motives, particularly given the disdain toward Muslim populations within the Trump administration itself and the convenient geopolitics of highlighting China's abuses, while very much turning a blind eye to, say, Saudi Arabia's.

China is accused of mass detentions, religious persecution and forced sterilisation of Uighurs and others in the resource-rich northwestern province.

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