WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a ban on imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Xinjiang area of China, as well as all products made with those materials, citing human rights violations and the widespread use of forced labor in the region.
The measure could have sweeping implications for makers of apparel and food products, many of whom have sought to distance themselves from atrocities in Xinjiang but have struggled to ensure their supply chains are free of all raw materials from the region.
The area is a major source of cotton, coal, chemicals, sugar, tomatoes and polysilicon, a component in solar panels, that are then fed into factories around China and the world.
The ban allows customs officials to stop imports that they suspect are made with raw materials from Xinjiang, regardless of whether they travel into the United States directly from China or through another country.
China has carried out a vast crackdown on predominantly Muslim minority groups in the far west Xinjiang region, including detaining a million or more Uighurs, Kazakhs and other groups in camps and closely surveilling the rest of the population, human rights groups say.