U.S. Bans Chinese Imports of Solar Panel Materials Tied to Forced Labor

The White House on Thursday introduced a sequence of steps to crack down on pressured labor within the provide chain for photo voltaic panels in China, together with a ban on importing merchandise from a silicon producer within the Xinjiang area.

A good portion of the world’s polysilicon, which is used to make photo voltaic panels, comes from Xinjiang, the place the United States has accused China of committing genocide by means of its repression of Uyghurs and different Muslim minorities.

In one of the newly introduced actions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has banned imports of silica-based merchandise made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Company in addition to items made utilizing these merchandise.

The Commerce Department additionally added Hoshine Silicon Industry (Shanshan) Company and four other Chinese entities to a commerce blacklist, a transfer that restricts American corporations from exporting merchandise and expertise to them. The different entities are Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Company, Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals Company, Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology Company and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Those entities, the division mentioned, “have been implicated in human rights violations and abuses in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups” in Xinjiang.

In addition, the Labor Department added Chinese polysilicon to a list of goods believed to be produced by baby labor or pressured labor. The checklist, which already contained a quantity of different Chinese items, is meant to improve consciousness about exploitative labor practices.

Allegations of pressured labor within the photo voltaic panel provide chain have created a dilemma for President Biden and his aides. The administration needs to press China over human rights abuses, nevertheless it additionally needs to develop the use of clear vitality sources like solar energy within the United States because it seeks to cut back carbon emissions.

Shortly earlier than Mr. Biden took office, the Trump administration banned imports of cotton and tomato merchandise from Xinjiang. The Biden administration had confronted strain to take motion concerning merchandise containing polysilicon produced within the area.

In a letter this month to the appearing head of Customs and Border Protection, a gaggle of House Democrats wrote that there was “overwhelming evidence of the use of forced labor in polysilicon production,” including, “Our government cannot sit idly by.”

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