US bars imports from 26 cotton manufacturers over Uyghur forced labor

By Thomson Reuters May 16, 2024 | 8:05 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States blocked imports from 26 Chinese cotton traders or warehouse facilities on Thursday as part of its effort to eliminate goods made with the forced labor of Uyghur minorities from the U.S. supply chain.

The companies are the latest additions to the Ugyhur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List that restricts the import of goods tied to what the U.S. government has characterized as an ongoing genocide of minorities in China’s Xinjiang region.

The cotton manufacturers listed are based outside of Xinjiang but source their cotton from the region, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement

“Their designation will increase transparency and ensure responsible companies can conduct due diligence on their supply chains to ensure they do not include goods made with forced labor,” the department wrote.

U.S. officials believe Chinese authorities have established labor camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in China’s western Xinjiang region. Beijing denies any abuses.

Washington has restricted imports from 65 entities since the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List law was passed in 2021, according to the department.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu)