Trump administration blocks import of Chinese goods produced by slave labor

President Trump has made it clear that the Chinese government will no longer be allowed to abuse its own citizens and take advantage of the US economy without severe consequences.

The Trump administration followed through on that promise, most recently announcing on Monday that the US will end the import of products from several Chinese companies that are using “illegal and inhumane forced labor” to produce the goods. 

Time to crack down

The US Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that the US will block imports from five Chinese companies and centers that are thought to use Uyghur Muslims as slave laborers to produce their goods.

A number of disturbing reports have exposed the Chinese government’s systematic enslavement and genocide of Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic minority mostly found in China’s Xinjiang region.

Reuters reported in June that the in addition to placing Uyghur Muslims in internment camps and using them as slave labor, the Chinese government has also turned to barbaric practices such as forced sterilizations and abortions to control and ultimately eliminate the Uyghur population.

Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken  Cuccinelli explained the decision to clamp down on imports, saying that “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.”

“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,” Cuccinelli continued. “When China attempts to import these goods into our supply chains, it also disadvantages American workers and businesses.”

The specifics

The five entities targeted by the sanctions include all products from made at the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, which is reportedly an internment camp that provides forced labor for manufacturing entities in the region.

Hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China will also be blocked, along with apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd.

Cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China will be rejected due to the company’s use of prison labor in their processing operations.

Lastly, imports of computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co., Ltd. in Anhui, China will be blocked due to “reasonable indications” that the company uses prison and forced labor to produce electronics.

Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, declared that “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.”

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