This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.
The United States on Tuesday blacklisted three more companies located in China’s Xinjiang region due to their use of forced Uyghur labor, banning American companies from importing their goods.
A total of 27 companies are now explicitly blacklisted under the 2021 Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which also includes a general ban on the import of any goods made even in part by the forced labor of Uyghurs, a Muslim minority subjected to internment in China.
Goods made by Xinjiang Zhongtai Group, Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile and Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile will be banned from imports due to their “participation in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities,” said a statement released by the Department of Homeland Security.
The statement quoted Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, as saying the U.S. government was committed to policies to “eliminate Uyghur forced labor in the People’s Republic of China.”
“We do not tolerate companies that use forced labor, that abuse the human rights of individuals in order to make a profit,” Mayorkas said.
The three companies all produce textiles, according to the statement, including cashmere, velvet and yarn, as well as industrial salt.
The listing came as the State Department updated its Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory, which has since 2021 advised Americans that if they “do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang [they] could run a high risk of violating U.S. law.”
The update notes that the U.S. government determined that in 2022 “genocide and crimes against humanity continued to occur” in China’s Xinjiang region, and provides details for businesses both about how goods made using slave labor can end up in global supply chains and about how import controls are enacted by U.S. customs officials.
Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, all goods produced in Xinjiang province are legally assumed to have involved Uyghur forced labor unless a business can prove otherwise to customs officials.