The U.S. Blocks the Import of Goods Made by Forced Labor in China

The U.S. Blocks the Import of Goods Made by Forced Labor in China

After the Holocaust, we said “never again” to standing by in the face of genocide. But exactly that has been able to play out against the Uyghur population of China. The U.S. is hoping a ban on imports from the Xinjiang region will be impactful enough for change.

Why is China detaining the Uyghurs?

In 2016, the Chinese government began targeting over 1 million Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China under the guise of counterterrorism. The world watched as families were rounded up while many decried plans for genocide as a conspiracy. Today, we now know that Uyghur Muslims were trafficked into “reeducation centers”— prison camps— where they have been systematically tortured and forced into slave labor.

The U.S. places a crucial import ban on Xinjiang

On June 21, 2022, the United States government enacted The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which effectively bans goods linked to forced labor in China, specifically from the Xinjiang region. Any product remotely produced in Xinjiang or produced by proven forced labor practices will not be allowed into the United States. Chinese importers will need to provide full supply chain transparency to prove their products were produced outside of Xinjiang and without slave labor. Convincing evidence to clear their goods includes factory lists, worker information, proof of wages, and supply chain disclosure.

What will happen to companies who source products linked to slave labor?

Laws exist to financially penalize U.S. companies who overlook slave labor in their supply chains. Investigations may also be prompted under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to prosecute cases of corporate slavery.

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