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US bans cotton imports from China


To prevent goods suspected to have been made with forced labor from entering the US, the US Customs and Border Protection has issued ‘Withhold Release Orders’ to all its six Chinese entities. These goods are likely to be seized and destroyed if their origin cannot be proven as not being produced by forced labor, says Customs and Border Protection. The organization has classified goods produced at five companies or industrial parks in Xinjiang and one company in eastern Anhui province as WRO. One of Xinjiang's vocational skills education and training centers has also been named in the order. The import ban by Customs and Border Protection will cover entire supply chains for cotton, from yarn to textiles and apparel, as well as tomatoes, tomato paste and other regional exports.

However, according to an article in the New York Times, any move to block cotton imports could have huge implications for global apparel makers. Xinjiang is a major source of cotton, textiles, petrochemicals and other goods that feed into Chinese factories. Many of the world’s largest and best-known clothing brands rely on supply chains that extend into China, including using cotton and textiles produced in Xinjiang, in the country’s far west. About 85 per cent of China's cotton is produced in Xinjiang.