US considering ban on cotton from China’s Xinjiang: New York Times

Workers look for trash in newly harvested cotton at a processing plant in Aksu, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, December 1, 2015. [Reuters]

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is weighing a ban on some or all products made with cotton from the Xinjiang region of China over alleged human rights violations, the New York Times reported late on Monday.

The potential ban which could be announced as soon as Tuesday comes amid reports of use of forced labour on minority Muslims in Xinjiang, the report said.

The scope of the order is unclear, the Times reported, including whether it would include products containing cotton from Xinjiang that are shipped from other countries. But the region is used by major global clothing brands as a source of cotton and other textiles.

The measure, called a withhold release order, would be issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The White House and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

U.S. lawmakers had proposed a legislation in March aimed at preventing goods made from forced labor in Xinjiang region from reaching the United States.

Xinjiang, a major cotton-producing region, is an autonomous territory in northwest China that is home to the Muslim minority Uighurs.

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru and Pete Schroeder and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler

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