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U.S. Bans Cotton Imports From Xinjiang Firm on ‘Slave Labor’

  • Shipments from China’s largest producer to be impounded
  • Beijing says curbs will end up hurting American consumers
Farmers pick cotton in a field in Hami in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. 

Farmers pick cotton in a field in Hami in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. 

Source: AFP/Getty Images
Updated on

The Trump administration banned cotton imports from a military-linked Chinese firm it accuses of relying on “slave labor,” as the U.S. seeks to ramp up economic pressure on Beijing over its treatment of Muslim ethnic minority groups.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday that customs officers at American ports would impound “shipments containing cotton and cotton products originating” from the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps., one of China’s largest producers. The organization -- set up by the Communist Party more than 60 years ago to help develop the far western region of Xinjiang -- was previously hit by Treasury Department sanctions barring it from transactions with American companies and citizens.