The Withhold Release Order (WRO) issued by CBP is based on information that “reasonably indicates” the use of forced labor within China’s so-called “re-education” camps. CBP also claims China is oppressing its Muslim population in that region.
“The goal isn’t just to interdict shipments … that’s actually the fallback plan,” Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told reporters Wednesday. “The goal of the WRO is that they stop and that the shipments never arrive — the ultimate goal is that China abandons these horrific practices.”
This is the fourth WRO that CBP has issued in 2021 and the second on products originating in Xinjiang. China’s Xinjiang province accounted for eight of the 13 WROs that CBP issued in 2020 — all stemming from allegations of forced labor.
vidence from Chinese government documents and media reports indicate that hundreds of thousands of Uighurs in Xinjiang are forced to pick cotton by hand via state-mandated labor, according to a report by the Center for Global Policy published last month. The Chinese government strongly denies all claims of forced labor in Xinjiang.
“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Made in China does not just indicate a country of origin,” said Cuccinelli. “It’s a warning label.”