The Trump administration rolled back its plans for an import ban on cotton and tomato products from China's Xinjiang region, although announced a narrower ban on products from five specific entities, per Reuters.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued orders freezing imports from companies that produce cotton, clothing and computer parts in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, where authorities have detained more than one million people in detention camps as part of the crackdown.
The facility was identified as the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang, where CBP says it has information that "reasonably indicates" the use of prison labor to make hair products and other goods. "A place where religious and ethnic minorities are subject to abuse and forced to work in heinous conditions with no recourse and no freedom".
"These actions send a clear message to the PRC (People's Republic of China) that it is time to end its practice of state-sponsored forced labour and to respect the human rights of all people", he said.
In a briefing with reporters Monday, officials with the Department of Homeland Security said that the broader measure was undergoing further legal analysis, and that more announcements could soon follow.
Global pressure is building on China's ruling Communist Party over its actions in the resource-rich region, and on Monday the European Union pressed China to let its independent observers into Xinjiang, binding human rights to future trade and investment deals with Beijing.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on September 14 issued five Withhold Release Orders against various goods made in Xinjiang, cracking down on the regime's "illicit, inhumane, and exploitative practices of forced labor".
The banned items include cotton, computer parts, apparel and hair products made at a series of facilities in Xinjiang, according to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The US-China relations have deteriorated after the COVID-19 outbreak, with President Donald Trump squarely blaming Beijing for allowing the disease to spread across the world.
"It will disrupt supply chains and contribute to a worsening situation between the US and China and less trust", he said.
Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Morgan said these WROs apply to shipments from those regions, but if producers use a middleman, the products may still be able to reach the American market. "China once again urges the U.S.to stop political manipulation and interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang-related matters".
The US government uses an alternate spelling for "Uighur".
U.S. customs had already seized a shipment of products made from human hair at the end of June, suspected of having been packaged in labor camps in the Chinese region of Xinjiang.
China has denied widespread and consistent reports of abuse and mistreatment of the Uyghurs and other minorities, defending the campaign as an effort to crack down on extremism.