U.S. condemns Communist authorities for leading social media campaign to attack banned Xinjiang cotton companies

State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said the social media campaign and consumer boycott are targeting U.S., European and Japanese companies.

“We applaud and support companies that comply with U.S. law and ensure that the products we consume are not produced with forced labor,” she said at a regular press briefing.

“We support and encourage companies to respect human rights, consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guiding Principles for Multinational Enterprises.” She added.

The Chinese Communist Party has denied allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The Communist Party says the camps there are vocational training centers for Uighur Muslims to help them fight religious extremism.

Earlier, White House spokesman Leonardo Psaki told reporters, “In our view, the international community should oppose the Chinese Communist Party’s weaponization of private businesses’ reliance on its markets to stifle freedom of expression and constrain corporate business ethics.”

Some overseas retailers have been boycotted by mainland Chinese consumers after statements from the brands announcing they would stop sourcing from Xinjiang went viral on social media.

U.S. brands such as New Balance, Unmour Armour, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike’s Converse came under fire in mainland China after they issued statements saying they would not use cotton produced in the Xinjiang region due to alleged forced labor.

Nike, which is a global member of BCI Good Cotton, said in a statement still hanging on its official website that the company adheres to international labor standards and is concerned about reports of forced labor in Xinjiang. Nike does not purchase products from Xinjiang, and the company confirmed with contract suppliers that they do not use textiles or staple fiber yarn from the region.