U.S. Trade Representative David Deitch recently said he will discuss with Secretary Blinken whether to respond to the Chinese Communist Party’s forced labor in Xinjiang by boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics. She noted that trade and human rights cannot be decoupled and that the U.S. can use trade tools such as tariffs and import bans on forced labor goods to counter the Chinese Communist Party.
Voice of America reports that U.S. Trade Representative David Deitch appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Fundraising Committee on May 13 for a hearing on the Biden administration’s trade policies.
She said at the hearing that the U.S. has been decoupling trade and human rights for decades, which is wrong, and that the core of the Biden administration’s trade policy, including labor rights, environmental protection, human rights, rule of law, good government, and anti-corruption, is now included in trade negotiations, which has cross-party support in the United States.
Dykes pointed out that China (CCP) brings great challenges, and when facing China’s (CCP) unfair trade practices, including the means to create a fair environment, etc., are only defensive measures.
Several members of Congress asked about China’s (CCP) forced labor in Xinjiang and the recent concerns about cotton in Xinjiang. U.S. Trade Representative David Deitch said that these are still economic issues that will impact economic competition. Forced labor is fundamentally not just a disgusting exploitation, it is a very crude subsidy and gives China an unfair trade advantage that the U.S. can counter with trade tools including tariffs and import bans on forced labor goods.
Rep. Darin LaHood, an Illinois Republican, asked whether a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics could also be one of the trade tools, and Dyche responded that the State Department is working on the topic and she will discuss it with Secretary Blinken in the future.
Dyche also revealed that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is conducting a comprehensive review of its policy toward China, including the first phase of the U.S.-China trade agreement, industrial supply chains, unfair trade practices, human rights violations and more. The last time such a comprehensive review was conducted was 16 years ago.
According to Radio Free Asia, the Center for Global Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, released a report on Dec. 14 last year revealing that Uighur and other minorities in Xinjiang are forced to pick cotton with their bare hands. In 2018 alone, more than 570,000 people were forced to work picking cotton in three major Uyghur concentrations in Xinjiang.
Muharram Muhammad ali, a Uyghur exile abroad, said it is not an overnight occurrence that Uyghurs are forced to labor in Xinjiang, which has become a source of cotton and other cash crops in China, and that he and his relatives were organized to participate in unpaid cotton picking when they were students. What is most outrageous now is that many Uighur detainees, after being transferred from concentration camps, have also been reduced to cotton picking labor, which is only one of many types of forced labor.
In January, the U.S. government reportedly ordered a ban on imports of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang because of the potential for forced labor.
In March, the U.S. State Department released a human rights report that again called the Communist Party’s atrocities in Xinjiang genocide and crimes against humanity.