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U.S. Bans Imports From 3 Chinese Companies Over Ties to Forced Labor

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The government targeted companies involved in making seafood, aluminum and footwear, citing their links to labor programs affecting Chinese minorities.

The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday added three Chinese companies to a list of firms whose products can no longer be exported to the United States, as part of what it described as an escalating crackdown on companies that aid in forced labor programs in Xinjiang.

The companies include a seafood processor, Shandong Meijia Group, that an investigation by the Outlaw Ocean Project identified as a business employing laborers brought to eastern China from Xinjiang — a far-western region of China where the government has detained and surveilled large numbers of minorities, including Uyghurs.

Another firm, Xinjiang Shenhuo Coal and Electricity, is an aluminum processor whose metal can be found in cars, consumer electronics and other products, a U.S. official said. The third, Dongguan Oasis Shoes, brought Uyghurs and people from other persecuted groups to its footwear factory in Guangdong, the U.S. government said.

With those additions, 68 companies now appear on the so-called entity list of firms that the U.S. government says participate in forced labor programs, nearly double the number at the beginning of the year.

Robert Silvers, an under secretary at the Department of Homeland Security who is chair of a committee overseeing the list, said that the government was accelerating the pace of additions to the list, and that the public should expect that to continue.

“We are going to hold companies to account if they engage in forced labor practices,” he said.

Industries using cotton and tomatoes were among the first to reckon with links in their supply chains to fields in Xinjiang. But in more recent years, companies making solar panels, flooring, cars, electronics, seafood and other goods have discovered that they, too, use components that were made in Xinjiang.

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