Date: Thursday, September 28, 2023
Source: Sourcing Journal
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday announced three additions to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List, bringing the total number of entities blacklisted for alleged complicity in the forced labor of Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region to 27.
“We do not tolerate companies that use forced labor, that abuse the human rights of individuals in order to make a profit,” Alejandro N. Mayorkas, homeland security secretary, said in a statement. “The Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to prosecute these companies, fight for the rights of the abused, and work toward the elimination of Uyghur forced labor in the People’s Republic of China.”
Effective Sept. 27, goods produced by Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co., Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co. and Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co. will be restricted from entering the United States as a result of what the agency describes as the companies’ “participation in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities in the PRC.”
Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co. makes and sells PVC, viscose fiber, viscose yarn and other textile, chemical and building materials. Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co. manufactures cashmere, wool, velvet and other textile products. Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co. produces yarn and textile goods. None of the three firms, which are headquartered in Xinjiang, could be reached for comment.
“The United States does not, and will not, tolerate products made with forced labor coming into our country,” said Robert Silvers, the DHS’s under secretary for strategy, policy and plans, as well as the chair of the interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force. “Through the enforcement actions taken today, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force is again making clear our country’s resolve to keep the global supply chain fair, just, and secure for all.”
Also on Tuesday, the Department of State issued an addendum to the 2021 Updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory, calling attention to Beijing’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and the evidence of widespread use of forced labor there.”
The update, which underscored the urgency for businesses to undertake appropriate human rights due diligence measures, highlights reports from both governmental and non-governmental sources containing information about the “ongoing, widespread and pervasive risks” posed by state-sponsored forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
“The United States will continue to promote accountability for the PRC’s atrocities and other human rights abuses through a whole-of-government effort and in close coordination with the private sector and our allies and partners,” Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the agency, said.
Senator Marco Rubio, the Floridian Republican who helped author the UFLPA, urged the White House later on Tuesday to add more companies to the UFLPA Entity List, saying that it’s not moving “fast enough.”
“While today’s additions are a positive step, the notable delay in enforcing this law raises serious concerns,” Rubio said in a statement. “There are potentially thousands of China-based companies and entities complicit in slave labor. The current pace of implementation suggests that it could take DHS decades to fully enforce the law. The slow pace emboldens those profiting from slave labor.”