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Trump administration cracks down on goods made by Chinese forced laborers

New restrictions target products from five Chinese factories that federal agents say employed prison labor, forced labor and coercive recruitment tactics to produce the goods

Published: September 15, 2020 7:20am

Updated: September 15, 2020 12:34pm

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a new set of restrictions on products produced by Chinese forced labor. 

The restrictions announced Monday by Customs and Border Protection — the legal enforcement branch of DHS — specifically target goods produced in five Uyghur detention and labor camps, primarily in Xinjiang, China.

Some of the now-banned products include apparel, cotton exports, computer parts and hair products, including wigs that use the hair of Uyghur Muslim women. 

An estimated one million Uyghur Muslims are being detained across the Xinjiang province.

"By taking this action, DHS is combating illegal and inhumane forced labor, a type of modern slavery, used to make goods that the Chinese government then tries to import into the United States," said acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli says the cheaply produced products from work camps hurt the U.S. economy, beyond being a human rights violation.

"When China attempts to import these goods into our supply chains, it also disadvantages American workers and businesses," he said

The five restrictions — officially known as Withhold Release Orders — are among the 12 WROs the department has issued in fiscal 2020. Eight have been directed at China. 

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