Breaking: U.S. Announces Total Ban on Xinjiang Cotton After Breaking Report by VOC Senior Fellow

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. announced a full and total ban on Xinjiang cotton and tomato products, following a partial ban from September 2020. The total ban also applies to products processed or manufactured in third party countries and effectively bars 20 percent of the world’s cotton from entering the U.S. because it is tainted by forced labor.

“Xinjiang cotton only comes in one color: blood red,” says Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) President and CEO Marion Smith. “Communist regimes have a long history of depending on forced labor economically and using it as a tool of political repression. Today, the U.S. has made the bold move to hold Communist China accountable for its actions.”

VOC has been the leading voice in exposing forced labor around the world, specifically in China’s Xinjiang region that is home to the Uyghur Muslim ethnic minority with hundreds of thousands in internment camps. On December 14, VOC Senior Research Fellow in China Studies Dr. Adrian Zenz released a groundbreaking report, in partnership with the Center for Global Policy, detailing new findings on forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region: Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton.

Dr. Zenz’s research sparked action in the U.K. which just announced new policies to confront China’s abuse of Uyghurs, and the report has now equipped U.S. policymakers with evidence to take the final step from partial to total ban on cotton produced using forced labor.

“Xinjiang’s entire cotton production is tainted with coercion,” says Dr. Zenz. “With this total ban, the U.S. has taken the most effective step to constrain the flow of cotton picked by hands that had no choice.”

The full-length report is available here.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is an educational, research, and human rights bipartisan nonprofit devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.

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For more information or to set up an interview with Adrian Zenz, please contact zenz@victimsofcommunism.org or call (202) 629-9500.