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The US is preventing cotton exports from China’s Xinjiang region because of claims of being produced incorporating forced labor.

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china-cotton-56The US is preventing key exports from China’s Xinjiang region because of claims of being produced incorporating forced labor. Cotton and tomato products, two of China’s main commodity exports, are proposed bans. The trump administration has increased pressure on China to treat the Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang.

In recent years China in xinjiang, with a threat of separatism and terror, has massively increased its security. In what China says are re-educational camps, up to a million persons have been detained for minor violations without trial. Continuing to withhold release orders are being drafted by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), allowing shipments to be detained on suspicions of forced labor. The law seeks to fight trafficking in human beings, child labor and other violations of human rights. Earlier in this year, US legislators suggested legislation that would assume that all products manufactured in Xinjiang are manufactured with forced labor and that they would be certified. The high-security detention camps that China says are necessary to improve security have repeatedly challenged Washington, Beijing.

In an interview with CBP Sub-Commissar Brenda Smith, “We have reasonable but nonconclusive data that there is a risk of forced labor in the supply chain of textile cotton and tomatoes coming from Xinjiang.” “We’re going to continue our research to fill those gaps,” she added. The proposed bans could impact US retailers, clothing manufacturers and food producers far and wide.

With most of it coming from Xinjiang China produces around 20 percent of the world’s cotton. The area is also a major source to feed Chinese plants for petrochemicals and other goods. The US entertainment giant Disney fired this week in Xinjiang province for shooting his new Mulan film. After her lead actress backed the Hong Kong protests, the film was already the target of a boycott.