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US Puts Trade Restrictions on 5 Chinese Companies Over Forced Labor Allegations

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FILE - A precision seeder sows seeds near workers in a cotton field of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, in Alar, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, March 26, 2021. The U.S. has restricted exports to the corps over alleged abuses.

TThe U.S. has imposed trade restrictions on five Chinese companies over their alleged use of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region.

The White House said Thursday that the companies utilized the forced labor of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the Chinese province, with the approval of the Chinese government.

“The PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) use of forced labor in Xinjiang is an integral part of its systematic abuses against the Uyghur population and other ethnic and religious minority groups, and addressing these abuses will remain a high priority for the Biden-Harris administration,” the White House said in a statement.

The U.S. banned imports of silica-based products from the Hoshine Silicon Industry Company, and banned exports to Xinjiang Daqo New Energy, Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals, Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology, and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

The U.S. also added polysilicon allegedly made with forced labor in China to its "List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reacted earlier Thursday to reports of the U.S. ban, declaring China would take “all necessary measures” to protect its companies' rights and interests.

At the G-7 Summit in England earlier this month, “the world’s leading democracies stood united against forced labor, including in Xinjiang, and committed to ensure global supply chains are free from the use of forced labor,” the White House added.

This report includes information from Reuters.

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