U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced last Wednesday that shipments of cotton and cotton products from China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) will be detained at all U.S. ports of entry.
CBP’s Withhold Release Order (WRO) applies to “all cotton and cotton products produced by the XPCC and its subordinate and affiliated entities as well as any products that are made in whole or in part with or derived from that cotton, such as apparel, garments, and textiles.”
We found over 2,400 companies linked to cotton in Xinjiang based on their business purpose disclosed in official corporate records. An import ban could affect not only these firms but countless manufacturers and distributors in other provinces whose goods rely on cotton from Xinjiang.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the XPCC for human rights abuses against Uyghurs in China’s western province of Xinjiang. CBP also cited concerns over forced labor in Xinjiang, where the XPCC and its subordinate divisions are ubiquitous in the social and economic fabric of the province.