Cotton: Xinjiang

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 7th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the estimate by US Customs and Border Protection that 85 per cent of China’s manufactured cotton comes from the Xinjiang region; and what plans they have to introduce restrictions on imports of cotton to prevent the import of goods sent from Uighur internment camps in the Xinjiang region.

Photo of Lord Grimstone of Boscobel Lord Grimstone of Boscobel The Minister of State, Department for International Trade, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

HM Government has serious concerns about the situation in Xinjiang, with reports of the use of forced labour. It has always been the case that where we have concerns, we raise them – as we did on this issue at the UN Human Rights Council, most recently in February.

We advise businesses with supply chain links in Xinjiang to conduct appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support, and are not seen to support, any violations or abuses of rights and responsibilities.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced a review of export controls on 12th January, but import controls were not included at this time.

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