US to halt cotton, tomato imports from China’s Xinjiang


dpa/GNA – The United States said Wednesday it would detain cotton and tomato products imported from China’s Xinjiang region at the US border.

US Customs and Border Protection issued an order against the import of the items due to suspicions they were produced using forced labour.

The agency said it had investigated and found indicators of forced labour including debt bondage, restriction of movement, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages and abusive living and working conditions.

Customs staff will be ordered to detain products including apparel, textiles, tomato seeds and canned tomatoes.

Importers are responsible for making sure they are not purchasing products made using forced labour at any point in the supply chain, the CBP said.

The move comes after Britain this week said it would tighten its laws against modern slavery to punish businesses with links to the alleged abuse of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang.

“We must take action, to make sure that UK businesses are not part of the supply chains that lead to the gates of the internment camps in Xinjiang,” Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said.

Experts have estimated at least 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs, Huis and other minorities have been placed in political indoctrination camps for seemingly arbitrary reasons such as praying or travelling abroad.

China has repeatedly denied any human rights violations have taken place in Xinjiang.

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