The agency said the region-wide ban was “based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor,” saying it had found examples of debt bondage, restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.
Beijing has denied accusations of mistreatment, and says it’s providing vocational training and helping to deradicalize segments of the population to combat alleged Islamic terrorism and violence.
“CBP will not tolerate the Chinese government’s exploitation of modern slavery to import goods into the United States below fair market value,” the agency’s Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan said in a statement.
“Imports made on the cheap by using forced labor hurt American businesses that respect human rights and also expose unsuspecting consumers to unethical purchases,” he added.
The ban will be effective at all US ports of entry.
In July, the US issued an advisory warning businesses about the risks of forced labor in Xinjiang, where the “Chinese government continues to execute a campaign of repression targeting the Uyghur people and other ethnic and religious minority groups,” CBP said.
Several countries have condemned China’s treatment of Uyghurs, but critics have urged the international community to purse a more aggressive regime of sanctions over the issue.
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