White House warns corporations on supply chains from Chinese slave labor

FPI / July 8, 2020


The Trump administration has warned American businesses against using products in their supply chains which are made via slave labor in Chinese concentration camps.

U.S. customs inspectors recently seized a 13-ton shipment of human hair that is suspected to be from Uighur concentration camps in China. / Customs and Border Protection

The U.S. departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security issued an advisory on July 1 warning of products from the region which are made by forced labor by ethnic Uighurs and others held by communist China in concentration camps, mostly in the communist country’s western region.

The advisory said there are risks for businesses “with supply chain links to entities complicit in forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang and throughout China,” including companies involved in surveillance tools used by the Chinese government in Xinjiang; products made with forced labor and other abuses in the region; and companies aiding construction of prison internment camps where more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are imprisoned.

“Businesses with potential exposure in their supply chain to entities that engage in human rights abuses in Xinjiang or to facilities outside Xinjiang that use forced labor from Xinjiang in the manufacture of goods intended for domestic and international distribution should be aware of the reputational, economic, and legal risks of involvement with such entities,” the U.S. government notice said.

The Chinese government is carrying out a campaign of mass repression in Xinjiang, targeting Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz and members of other Muslim minority groups under the questionable rubric of counterterrorism, according to a State Department report on the issue.

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot voiced concerns about a recently seized shipment of human hair from Xinjiang which was stopped by customs inspectors in New Jersey.

“If this highly suspicious, 13-ton shipment of human hair indeed turns out to be linked to the Uighur concentration camps, then this is a new low — even for the Chinese Communist Party,” Ullyot tweeted.

The United States imported $557.9 billion in goods from China in 2018, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese since 2017 have ramped up repression of the Uighurs using forced labor and arbitrary detentions.

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