US TO BLOCK COTTON, TOMATO IMPORTS FROM XINJIANG
The United States on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 will move to block imports of cotton and tomato products from western China’s Xinjiang region over allegations that they are produced with forced labor, officials with US Customs and Border Protection told Reuters.
The actions, which hit two of China’s major commodity exports, will be announced at the White House along with five other import bans involving Xinjiang forced labor abuses in an unprecedented move likely to stoke tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
The “Withhold Release Orders” allow the CBP to detain shipments based on suspicion of forced labor involvement under longstanding US laws aimed at combating human trafficking, child labor and other human rights abuses.
The Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on China over its treatment of Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslim population. The United Nations has said it has credible reports that 1 million Muslims have been detained in camps in the region, where they are put to work.