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US bars imports from China footwear, seafood, aluminum firms over Uyghur labor

Container ships are shown at the Port of Los Angeles from San Pedro, California, U.S., June 23, 2023. [REUTERS | Mike Blake]

WASHINGTON, June 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. has added three more companies to a list that bars imports from firms allegedly involved with Uyghur forced labor in China, according to a U.S. government notice posted online on Tuesday.

The latest targets include shoe manufacturer Dongguan Oasis Shoes Co, electrolytic aluminum maker Xinjiang Shenhuo Coal and Electricity Co and food processor Shandong Meijia Group Co, also known as Rizhao Meijia Group, the notice from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said.

"Through these actions, DHS is increasing its focus on seafood, aluminum, and shoes - sectors that play an important role in Xinjiang's economy - and ensuring goods made with forced labor are kept out of the U.S. market," the department said in a separate statement.

Scores of companies have been added to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List, which restricts the import of goods tied to what the U.S. government has characterized as an ongoing genocide of minorities in China's western Xinjiang region.

U.S. officials say Chinese authorities have established labor camps for Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. Beijing denies any abuses.

Asked to comment on the latest U.S. move, Chinese embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu called allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang "nothing but an egregious lie propagated by anti-China forces and a tool for U.S. politicians to destabilize Xinjiang and contain China’s development."

Referring to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, he added: "It not only severely infringes on the human rights of people in Xinjiang but also destabilizes global industrial and supply chains and sabotages international trade rules."

Reporting by Susan Heavey, Karen Freifeld and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Paul Simao and Rod Nickel


© 2024, Reuters


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