By Beverley Rayner
September 27, 2023
WASHINGTON – The United States has announced additional restrictions on imports from three Chinese companies in an effort to eliminate products made with forced labor from the U.S. supply chain. Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co Ltd, Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co. Ltd, and Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co. Ltd have been added to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List, bringing the total number of entities on the list to 27.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated that these companies were designated due to their involvement in business practices that exploit Uyghur minorities and other persecuted groups. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas emphasized that the United States does not tolerate companies that use forced labor to profit.
The three companies were designated for collaborating with the Xinjiang government to employ forced labor from Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other persecuted groups outside the region, according to the United States.
In response to the designation, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry dismissed the allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang as “the lie of the century” and accused the U.S. of attempting to undermine Xinjiang’s prosperity and stability and curb China’s development.
The three companies involved are Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co, which produces yarn and textile products, Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co, which manufactures and sells PVC and other textile, chemical, and building materials, and Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co, which sells cashmere and wool garments.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List (UFLPA), enacted in 2021, prohibits the importation of goods produced in Xinjiang or by companies identified on the list, unless the importer can prove that the goods were not made with forced labor.
U.S. officials believe that China has established labor camps in Xinjiang for Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups. However, Beijing denies these allegations.
In an updated advisory, the State Department highlighted China’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and emphasized the need for businesses to conduct due diligence to address forced labor and human rights risks.
While some Uyghur groups and activists have expressed frustration with the pace and effectiveness of enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, Senator Marco Rubio, a sponsor of the law, called on the Biden administration to add more companies to the list, citing the potential involvement of thousands of Chinese companies in slave labor.
The United States had previously banned goods from two China-based companies as part of this effort.