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25 Okt 2022

Ji Siqi and Jacob Fromer, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

China: Xinjiang exports to US drop in September but still higher year on year despite forced labour law

"Xinjiang exports to US dip in September but still higher year on year despite forced labour law" 25 October 2022

  • Machinery and mechanical equipment top category of products shipped from region, whose month-on-month decline aligns with weakening in Chinese exports
  • US customs chief insists ‘seeing good examples of compliance so far’ with recently implemented Uygur Forced Labour Prevention Act

Xinjiang’s exports to the United States dropped in September after soaring for two consecutive months, but were still nearly three times as high as the same month last year, according to the latest Chinese customs data – despite a Washington law that seeks to ban goods from the far-west region of China due to forced labour allegations.

The shipments from Xinjiang to the US have appeared to continue even as officials from the US customs agency insist that they have been effectively enforcing the Uygur Forced Labour Prevention Act, which kicked in on June 21. [...]

According to Chinese customs data, the top individual product Xinjiang exported to the US last month was 8 million pairs of synthetic socks worth US$1.56 million, followed by Christmas products valued at US$1.51 million.

Machinery and mechanical equipment remained the top category of products from Xinjiang shipped to the US last month, accounting for 28.9 per cent, according to calculations by the Post based on trade data.

That was followed by apparel and clothing, accounting for 11.6 per cent and worth US$2.4 million, compared with over US$9 million in August. Both have been flagged by US officials as high-risk sectors subject to the most scrutiny under the Uygur Forced Labor Prevention Act. [...]

Part of the following timelines

China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses

China: Mounting concerns over forced labour in Xinjiang

Brands face boycott in China over decision not to source Xinjiang cotton due to allegations of forced labour

USA: Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act comes into effect