The United States on Tuesday will move to block imports of cotton and tomato products from western China’s Xinjiang region due to allegations that they are produced with forced labour, officials with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told Reuters News Agency.
The actions, which hit two of China’s major commodity exports, are expected to be formally announced later on Tuesday by CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, along with five other import bans involving Xinjiang forced labour abuses in an unprecedented move that is likely to stoke tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
The “Withhold Release Orders” allow the CBP to detain shipments based on suspicion of forced labour involvement under long-standing US laws aimed at combating human trafficking, child labour and other human rights abuses.
The Trump administration is ratcheting up pressure on China for its treatment of Xinjiang’s Uighur Muslims. The United Nations has said it has credible reports that one million…