Published: Thu, January 14, 2021

United States to block cotton from China region targeted in crackdown

United States to block cotton from China region targeted in crackdown

The ban announced Wednesday adds to a flurry of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against Chinese officials, companies and goods over human rights, security and other complaints.

China denies allegations of rights abuses and forced labour, saying it aims only to raise incomes among minorities and stamp out radicalism.

Canada and Britain both recently said they too would take steps to stop goods tainted by forced labor from entering their countries.

He cited evidence of human rights violations committed against Uighurs.

Zhao said Beijing would "safeguard its interests and dignity" but gave no indication of possible retaliation.

The move follows a ban on cotton products from China's largest producer, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

In December, the U.S. Congress passed the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act that assumes that all goods manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labor and therefore banned under the 1930 Tariff Act, unless the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection certifies otherwise. That makes the USA ban a potential challenge for retailers or clothing brands that will be required to ensure their products are free of Xinjiang cotton.

"It is detrimental to the interests of enterprises and consumers of all countries, including the United States itself", he said.

The action applies to raw fibers, apparel and textiles made from Xinjiang-grown cotton, as well as tomato-based food products and seeds from the region.

The United States imported about $9 billion worth of cotton goods directly from China previous year, according to the US government.

China says its policies in the vast, resource-rich region abutting several Central Asian countries have put an end to anti-government violence that claimed thousands of lives over recent years. Last month, the Trump administration announced that it would block imports of cotton from there - the latest restriction related to the region.

In his announcement, Raab said Britain sought to ensure that "no company that profits from forced labour in Xinjiang can do business in the United Kingdom, and that no United Kingdom business is involved in their supply chains".

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