U.S. Bans Imports From China’s Xinjiang Region Due to CCP’s Human Rights Violations

Thursday’s bill was signed by President Joe Biden. It aims to end human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang area.

The new law is set to ban imports from Xinjiang while imposing penalties on those who are involved in forced labor in the area. This is Washington’s latest attempt to end the cruel treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China.

The Senate unanimously passed the bill this month, indicating broad support for the resolution of human rights violations in the region. This was after a strong bipartisan vote in Congress.

CNBC reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington for comment but they did not respond immediately. Beijing denied that it had mistreated religious or ethnic minorities in the area.

The Biden administration recently categorized the Uyghurs’ abuse as “widespread, state-sponsored forced labor” and “mass detention.”

Businesses with Xinjiang supply chain or investment connections have been warned by the Biden administration that they may face legal consequences. The Biden administration cited increasing evidence of genocide in the country’s northwest and other human rights violations.

The Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative cautioned all companies that were associated with the communist regime in Xinjiang.

The Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory stated that “businesses and individuals that do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang could run a high risk of violating U.S. law.”

As a response to the issue, U.S. chipmaker Intel issued a letter to its suppliers earlier this month, informing them that the company has been ordered to  “ensure that its supply chain does not use any labor or source goods or services from the Xinjiang region.”

The letter sparked some reprisal in China, where Intel has about 10,000 employees.

Intel released a Chinese-language public apology, reiterating that their choice to avoid supplies from Xinjiang was in compliance with U.S. law and not a socio-political pronouncement on human rights.

“We apologize for the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public. Intel is committed to becoming a trusted technology partner and accelerating joint development with China,” Intel stated.

The Commerce Department placed trade restrictions last week on 30 Chinese research institutions. Eight Chinese tech companies were sanctioned by the Treasury Department for human rights violations.

Previous concerns have been expressed by governments, civil society groups, and United Nations officials about Beijing’s harsh repression of critics of the Chinese Communist Party.

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