WASHINGTON, DC – In collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Labor today issued an updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory. The updated advisory alerts businesses to the heightened risks of supply chain and investment links to entities complicit in state-sponsored forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang and throughout China as part of labor transfer programs.
“The labor and human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, China, are egregious, systematic and ongoing,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Any company doing business in this region should take heed: these are reprehensible and illegal practices, and the goods produced under these conditions have no place in the U.S. economy.”
The government of the People’s Republic of China continues to carry out genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs – who are predominantly Muslim – and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups. In response, the department has joined this whole-of-government effort in updating this advisory, first issued by U.S. government agencies on July 1, 2020.
The People’s Republic of China’s crimes against humanity include imprisonment, torture, rape, forced sterilization and persecution, including through forced labor and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and freedom of movement.
The updated advisory stresses that businesses and individuals doing business in Xinjiang do not currently have the capacity to engage in adequate due diligence, given the limitations imposed by the Chinese government. Therefore, those that do not exit supply chains, ventures and/or investments connected to Xinjiang run a high risk of violating U.S. law.
In June, the U.S. Department of Labor added polysilicon produced with forced labor in China to its “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.”
The ninth edition of the department’s list, published Sept. 30, 2020, contained other products from China that have links to forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or by Uyghur workers transferred to other parts of China: cotton, garments, footwear, electronics, gloves, hair products, textiles, thread/yarn and tomato products.