US to ban imports from China over forced labour

US to ban imports from China over forced labour

The United States intends to ban imports of cotton and tomatoes, two of China's main export goods from Xinjiang, because of charges that forced labour is used in production.

Brenda Smith, a senior executive of the US agency for the protection of borders and customs told Reuters that her office is finalizing the text of a measure that will authorize customs authorities to block the entry into the country of foreign products that are suspected of deriving from forced labour.

An investigation is still ongoing, but Washington believes that cotton and tomatoes in Xinjiang are harvested by Uyghur "detainees".

According to expert data, confirmed by the United Nations, over one million Uyghurs (out of a population of nearly 10 million) and other Turkish-speaking Islamic minorities are arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang, which the local population calls "East Turkestan".

Human rights activists and many governments, including the United States and the European Union, describe the detention centres as real internment camps. Beijing claims they are educational institutions to combat terrorism, separatism and Islamic extremism.

The import ban announced by Washington will have some impact on US consumers. China produces 20% of the world's cotton, most of it in Xinjiang. Similar to the trade war, the Trump administration doesn't seem to care.

Source: Agencies

Published on: Sep 09, 2020 15:08:09

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