US bans imports from 26 Chinese companies amid Uyghur forced labor concerns

US bans imports from 26 Chinese companies amid Uyghur forced labor concerns

21 companies source, sell cotton from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, says Homeland Security Department

By Ovunc Kutlu

ISTANBUL (AA) - The US banned 26 Chinese textile firms Thursday because of forced labor concerns regarding Uyghurs.

The goods produced by the 26 entities, which include cotton traders and warehouse facilities within China, will be restricted from entering the US effective May 17, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.

21 of the companies source and sell cotton from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) on the wholesale market, while five source cotton from the XUAR, it said.

"The Department of Homeland Security will not tolerate forced labor in our nation’s supply chains," said Secretary Security Alejandro Mayorkas. "We will continue to execute on our textile enforcement strategy and hold the PRC (People’s Republic of China) accountable for their exploitation and abuse of the Uyghur people."

Since the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was signed in December 2021, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) that is chaired by the DHS, has added 65 entities to the UFLPA Entity List, it noted.

"The FLETF will continue to consider future designations to the UFLPA Entity List as part of DHS’ broader forced labor enforcement efforts," said the statement.

China's northwestern Xinjiang autonomous region is home to 10 million Uyghurs, as the Turkic Muslim group makes up 45% of Xinjiang’s population. It has long accused China of cultural and religious discrimination, a claim rejected by Chinese officials.

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