With an intention to deter alleged human rights violations and abuses, the US will now block some exports from China’s Xinjiang region. In order to protect the interests of laborers who had been forced into the trade, the export ban includes garments, cotton, computer parts, and hair products from five entities in Xinjiang as well as Anhui province.
The alleged human rights abuses against the Muslim Uighur minority in the region have pointed out reports that indicate cases of “forced labor” and unsettling “concentration camps” that have been set up in and around the Xinjiang region of China.
Addressing these concerns whilst speaking to the media, Kenneth Cuccinelli, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting secretary said, “By taking this action, DHS is combating illegal and inhumane forced labor, a type of modern slavery, used to make goods that the Chinese government then tries to import into the United States. When China attempts to import these goods into our supply chains, it also disadvantages American workers and businesses.”
In more instances than one, China has been criticized by global human rights activists for tormenting and ill-treating the Uyghurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities, and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education.
Justifying the move, Cuccinelli further added, “President Trump and this Department have, and always will put American workers and businesses first and protect American citizens from participating in these egregious human rights violations.”
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark A. Morgan also lent his support to the ban saying, “The Trump Administration will not stand idly by and allow foreign companies to subject vulnerable workers to forced labor while harming American businesses that respect human rights and the rule of law.”
The list of Withhold Release Orders (WRO) issued by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Monday, includes products made with labor from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center, hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park; apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co.; cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co. in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.