The United States on Friday banned imports from China-based printer maker Ninestar Corp and a chemical company over alleged human rights abuses in China, according to a post for the Federal Register.
Ninestar, whose website says it is the world’s fourth-largest laser printer manufacturer, and Xingjang Zhongtai Chemical Co Ltd, are being kept out of the US supply chain for participating in business practices that target China’s Uighurs and other persecuted groups, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a statement.
The companies could not immediately be reached for comment.
UN experts and rights groups have estimated that more than a million people, mainly Uighurs and Muslim minorities, have been detained in camps in China’s western Xinjiang region in recent years, with many saying they were subject to ideological training and abuse.
China has denied all accusations of abuse.
DHS said the actions were taken as part of the US Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act (UFLPA), which was signed into law in December 2021. The act prohibits imports into the US that are either produced in Xinjiang or by companies identified on a UFLPA Entity List, unless the importer can prove the goods were not produced with forced labour.
Twenty-two companies are now on the list, and DHS said it has examined more than $1.3bn worth of goods likely manufactured with forced labour nearly a year after the UFLPA was implemented.
Ninestar and its eight Zhuhai-based subsidiaries, along with Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical, were added to the list for working with the government of Xinjiang to recruit, transport, transfer, harbour or receive forced labour of Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups, out of Xinjiang, according to the posting.
“The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force will continue to hold companies accountable for perpetuating human rights violations in Xinjiang,” DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers, who chairs the task force, said in a statement.