US condemns China boycott of foreign products

The United States has condemned a Chinese consumer boycott of foreign companies over their stance on the alleged forced labor of minority Uighurs.

Swedish clothing maker H&M announced that it will stop procuring cotton from China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in response to allegations of forced labor.

A youth organization of the Chinese Communist Party criticized the decision, saying that it is based on false rumors. The criticism sparked online calls for a boycott.

State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter said on Friday, "The United States condemns the PRC's state-led social media campaign and corporate and consumer boycott against companies, including American, European and Japanese businesses, for their decision to avoid inputs using Xinjiang cotton because of forced labor."

She said, "We commend and stand with companies that adhere to the US laws and ensure products we are consuming are not made with forced labor."

In January, the US government halted imports of cotton and other products from the Xinjiang region.

This month, the United States and European Union sanctioned officials in the region.