US bans imports from Xinjiang over rights concerns

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly criticized Chinese leaders for human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Now, his administration has imposed an import ban on goods from the area.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act went into effect on Tuesday.

The Xinjiang region produces cotton, sugar and other goods. The ban prohibits all products and raw materials made using forced labor. It requires firms to submit proof that their factories and those of their suppliers do not use slavery or coercion.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement saying the US is rallying its allies to make global supply chains free from forced labor. He called on Chinese leaders to "end atrocities and human rights abuses."

Leaders in Beijing slammed the move. Wang Wenbin, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, said the US enacted the ban and imposed sanctions on entities and individuals in Xinjiang based on lies. He said the act is a continuation of US lies and an escalation of its suppression of China under the guise of human rights.

Wang also criticized the Americans for violating international trade rules and undermining the stability of supply chains.

The legislation extends beyond China. Japanese companies have been exporting products to the US that were made in Xinjiang and fall under the ban.