EU, UK Urged to Ban Forced Labor Imports


The leaders of the House Select Committee on China are calling on the Administration to press allies – particularly Europe and the United Kingdom – to prevent Chinese goods made by Uyghur forced labor from entering their markets.

“We are particularly concerned that goods made by Uyghur forced labor continue to flood into Europe and the United Kingdom (UK), which some have described as ‘dumping grounds’ for these products that are otherwise banned from importation into the United States,” Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wis) and ranking Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill) wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“The State Department plays a critical role in working with our allies and partners to ensure that companies profiting off the CCP’s ongoing genocide in Xinjiang find no safe markets for their wares.”

The European Council and European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement to ban
products made with forced labor, the lawmakers said, but some European Union member countries appear to be considering voting against the ban.

“If Europe fails to pass this legislation, products made by PRC state-sponsored forced labor programs will continue to have unfettered access to European markets,” they wrote.

“The lack of a European law would also increase the risk that banned products made with Uyghur forced labor are illegally transshipped to the US market via EU countries.”

In the letter, the lawmakers urged State to intensify and elevate its global diplomatic efforts to address China state-sponsored forced labor programs and to ensure that countries around the world understand the transnational implications of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

“Given the EU’s upcoming vote on the forced labor import ban and reports that EU governments continue to resist the European Parliament’s proposal, we believe that initial efforts should prioritize engagement with our European partners and allies, particularly Germany and Italy,” they wrote.

“The UK, which has also failed to implement stringent prohibitions against the import of goods made with forced labor from Xinjiang, should also be a focus of these efforts.”

They asked State to brief Select Committee staff by April 30th on the following questions:

  • What is the Department’s strategy for engaging with US allies and partners to strengthen global prohibitions against goods produced by the PRC’s state-sponsored forced labor programs?
  • How is the Department currently engaging with U.S. allies and partners to encourage them to adopt forced labor import bans similar to the UFLPA? How much progress does the Department assess the EU, UK, Australia, Japan, and others have made in implementing meaningful prohibitions against products made with PRC state-sponsored forced labor?
  • According to the agreed text for the EU’s forced labor ban, the European Commission will be required to list “specific economic sectors” in “specific geographical areas” where states-sponsored forced labor exists. What steps is the Department taking to help our allies in Europe and the UK designate forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) as well as other economic sectors where Uyghur forced labor is prevalent (e.g. solar, EVs, textiles, critical minerals, etc.) under this ban?
  • What is the Department’s engagement strategy to help countries understand the UFLPA’s scope, enforcement, and compliance requirements? How frequently does the Department utilize interagency partners (e.g. subject matter experts from DHS, CBP, etc.) to conduct UFLPA and forced labor training overseas?
  • What is the feasibility of the Department establishing a joint US-EU-UK Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force to enable policy and enforcement coordination with the U.S. Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force?
  • What, if any, additional authorities or resources does the State Department need to create a multilateral regime comprised of likeminded countries to ban the importation of any products made with state-sponsored forced labor?


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