Products made by Uyghurs banned in the United States

This is the first time that a country has taken such a step. The US Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a law banning the importation into the United States of a wide range of products made in China’s Xinjiang province in an attempt to combat forced labor by the Uyghur minority. The adoption of the text is a victory for the supporters of an aggressive policy aimed at combating the violation of human rights.

The vote came despite a lobbying campaign from companies arguing that the legislation would disrupt global supply chains, already under pressure from the pandemic. The text is now on President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.

Not to be “unwitting accomplices in atrocities”

In detail, the text provides for the banning of products manufactured in whole or in part in Xinjiang, unless companies are able to provide customs officials with proof that the products were not made with forced labor. “Many companies have already taken steps to clean up their supply chains,” said Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida and one of the authors of the bill.

He stressed that action had to be taken to stop making Americans “unwitting accomplices in the atrocities, in the genocide committed by the Chinese Communist Party”. Beijing is indeed accused by Western countries of massively locking the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim and Turkic-speaking community in western China, in large labor camps.

The announcement comes as the Commerce Department and the Treasury announced new sanctions against Chinese biotech and high-tech companies accused of using their technology to serve the government to amplify Uyghur surveillance.

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