The United States has moved to block the import of goods made in China’s Xinjiang to combat alleged forced labour practices, the Department of Homeland Security said on Monday, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued five Withhold Release Orders (WRO) today on products from the People’s Republic of China (PRC)", the department said in a statement. "The products subject to the WROs are produced with state-sponsored forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the Chinese government is engaged in systemic human rights abuses against the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minorities".
On 9 September, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said that the DHS has set up a coordinating group to integrate responses to Chinese efforts to steal US intellectual property, undermine the integrity of US elections and conduct other hostile activities.
The DHS was targeting illicit Chinese manufacturers who had exploited the COVID-19 pandemic by producing fraudulent or prohibited PPE and medical supplies that especially endanger our front-line workers and the department was also preventing goods produced by slave labour and Chinese -made fentanyl from entering US markets, Wolf said.
US President Donald Trump had waged a trade war against China throughout 2019, hiking tariffs over a number of $250 billion worth of Chinese goods entering the US market, purportedly taking issue with the lopsided trade balance between the two.