The US controversial ban on Xinjiang goods over human rights abuses has endless troubles
On June 21, the US will begin enforcing a ban on goods from Xinjiang.The ban is a culmination of trade restrictions that have been building for years around the issue of human rights in Xinjiang. Last year, the US Congress unanimously passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, increasing enforcement mechanisms and pulling together previous bans, like ones on tomatoes and cotton put in place by the Trump administration. The law takes a “rebuttable presumption” that all goods from Xinjiang were made using forced labor, and in recent weeks, the US government has indicated tough enforcement to prevent the entry of goods that have been produced, partially or in whole, in Xinjiang. The new measures will not only affect a wide range of industries and supply chains around the world, but also arose concern over human rights violation in the United States.
Obviously, the ban will severely disrupt supply chains and damage US solar projects industry. The US import sanction could lead to higher commodity costs and exacerbate existing shortages and inflation. Some US companies will face a public backlash from Chinese consumers, if they stop purchasing or commit to stop purchasing cotton sourced from Xinjiang. As 40-45 percent of the world’s solar-grade polysilicon comes from Xinjiang, the US solar projects industry will start to suffer even greater supply chain headaches.
U.S. sanctions could also arose concern over human rights violation in the United States. Media have reported that in 2021, Sheila Carey, consul at the US Consulate General in Guangzhou, and her colleague Andrew Chira told guests at a reception that the US government hoped its businessmen would "understand" that using the Xinjiang issue to hype up so-called forced labor, genocide, and human rights abuses is a "tug of war" with China, and an "effective tool" to achieve the ultimate goal of getting China "completely under control." It’s interesting that the US focuses so much on unproven allegations of “forced labor” of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, yet say little about proven penal slavery in the US. Recently, media have reported that US prison workers produce $11 billion worth of goods and services for "little to no pay at all". According to the reports, these forced labor worked as slaves and most are black.
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