FILE PHOTO: People hold signs protesting China's treatment of the Uighur people, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
FILE PHOTO: People hold signs protesting China's treatment of the Uighur people, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Reuters

  • The US will ban some imports from Xinjiang region in China, where Beijing is committing human rights violations against minority Muslims.
  • The ban covers computer parts, cotton, apparel, and hair products coming from four companies and one manufacturer in the Xinjiang and Anhui region.
  • The US government said that the orders send a clear message that the US will not tolerate forced labor in their supply chains.
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The US government has banned the import of certain clothing, computer parts and hair products from China's Xinjiang region, where Beijing is committing human rights atrocities against millions of Muslim minorities.

The ban targets four companies and one manufacturing site producing apparel, hair products, computer parts, and cotton garments in Xinjiang and Anhui province. China produces around a fifth of the world's cotton, with nearly 85% of its cotton coming from Xinjiang. The region is also a major source of textiles and petrochemicals.

Mark A. Morgan, acting commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection agency, said Monday that the executive orders on Monday "send a clear message to the international community that we will not tolerate the illicit, inhumane, and exploitative practices of forced labour in US supply chains."

Morgan described China's forced labor camps, where Uighur people and other Muslim populations live and work for little or no pay, as "atrocious human rights abuse that is completely against the values that we all share," adding that the Trump administration will not allow foreign companies to use vulnerable people for forced labor whilst "harming American businesses that respect human rights and the rule of law."

Kenneth Cuccinelli, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters that "these extraordinary human rights violations demand an extraordinary response" and described China's actions as "modern-day slavery."

Human rights experts told Business Insider on Saturday that a potential ban on cotton imports from Xinjiang would increase pressure on the Chinese government to end abuses in the region, adding that it could impose "a real economic cost" for Beijing.

The import ban, which was first tipped by Bloomberg, is the most recent development by the US government to force China to end the oppression of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region, where Beijing is detaining over one million people. 

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