The Trump administration as recently ratcheted up pressure on the Chinese government for serious allegations of slave labor and human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Most recently the Trump administration moved to end imports from five Chinese companies and entities that have been identified as using slave labor to produce their goods.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli announced the decision on Monday:
President Trump and this Department have, and always will, put American workers and businesses first and protect American citizens from participating in these egregious human rights violations.
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. When China attempts to import these goods into our supply chains, it also disadvantages American workers and businesses.
The Chinese government has been accused by multiple whistleblowers of forcing Uyghur Muslims — an ethnic and religious minority residing in a formerly semiautonomous region of China — into internment camps to be used for forced labor. Reports of forced sterilizations and abortions abound as the Chinese government attempts to control the group’s population.
“Allowing goods produced using forced labor into the U.S. supply chain undermines the integrity of our imports. American consumers deserve and demand better,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of the trade office at Customs and Border Protection.
Read more about the new import restrictions here.