WASHINGTON – The US Government has announced a ban on the import of all products containing cotton produced by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), in response to widespread concerns over the use of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The XPCC, a Chinese government paramilitary body, controls approximately a third of the region’s cotton production— six percent of all cotton globally. It was the main implementing partner of the world’s largest cotton standard, the Better Cotton Initiative, until October 2019.
The move, announced at a press conference by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has been hailed as a body blow to apparel brands “complicit in forced labour” by the US Worker Rights Consortium.
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