In another crackdown on China, the United States has banned cotton, hair products, computer components, and some textiles from China's Xinjiang province which are made "using forced labour". "By taking this action, 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. When China attempts to import these goods into our supply chains, it also disadvantages American workers and businesses," said Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.
"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," Cuccinelli said.
"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," said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark A. Morgan.
"Today's Withhold Release Orders send a clear message to the international community that we will not tolerate the illicit, inhumane, and exploitative practices of forced labor in U.S. supply chains."
The list of Withhold Release Orders (WRO) issued by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) include products made with labour from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center, hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park; apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co.; cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co. in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Besides, Computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co. in Anhui have also been banned as "Hefei Bitland uses both prison and forced labor to produce electronics."
"The series of actions CBP has taken against imports from China demonstrates the pervasive use of unethical and inhumane labor conditions in China, and CBP will not turn a blind eye," said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP's Office of Trade.
"Allowing goods produced using forced labor into the US supply chain undermines the integrity of our imports. American consumers deserve and demand better," Smith added.
This comes days after a bipartisan group of US Senators asked the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, to explain the company's cooperation with the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang during the production of the "Mulan" live-action remake.
China has been criticised globally for cracking down on the Uyghurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
(With agency inputs)