The US on Monday blocked imports from four companies and a manufacturing facility in northwestern China suspected of using forced labour from people detained as part of a sweeping crackdown on ethnic minorities in the region.
Companies that ship clothing and other cotton goods, computer parts and hair products from the Xinjiang region were named in the order issued by US Customs and Border Protection.
The manufacturing facility is a center where Uighurs and other minorities have been detained and compelled to produce goods for export to the US and elsewhere.
Forced labour is an atrocious human rights abuse that is completely against the values that we all share," acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said as he announced the orders halting the imports in a call with reporters.
The US is considering a broader ban on cotton and textiles and tomatoes from Xinjiang but the new orders are a more limited step.
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the Trump administration is still studying the more sweeping measure.
The facility was identified as the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang, where CBP says it has information that reasonably indicates the use of prison labor to make hair products and other goods.
In its orders, CBP named the Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co, Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd., which make clothing in Xinjiang.
It also halted shipments from the Junggar Cotton and Linen Co, and Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co, which it says uses prison and forced labor to make computer parts.
CBP did not identify any US companies that do business with the named entities.
Chinese authorities have detained more than a million people from mostly Muslim ethnic groups that include Uighurs, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz in a vast network of detention centers as part of an assimilation campaign.
China has denied widespread and consistent reports of abuse and mistreatment of the Uighurs and other minorities, defending the campaign as an effort to crackdown on extremism and claiming the detention camps are for vocational and Chinese language training.
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