Biden administration to ban solar components from Chinese company over forced labor

Hoshine was widely reported earlier this year on Uyghur forced labor in the global material supply chain in Xinjiang, which supplies about half of the world’s polysilicon supply to the solar industry.

Whole of Government Approach: The announcement, which coincides with two other actions in recent days, is said to represent a “whole-of-government approach” to show firm action against forced labor, one of the sources said.

The move will come a day after the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security added Hoshine and four other companies located in Xinjiang to its “entity list,” a commercial blacklist that prevents US companies to do business with the listed entities without the approval of the United States. government.

These other companies are Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Co., Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals Co., Xinjiang GCL New Energy Materials Technology Co., and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. All are involved in the manufacture or use of polysilicon products, and XPCC was the subject to an import ban imposed by the Trump administration.

Update of the list of offenders at work: In addition, the Ministry of Labor on Wednesday added polysilicon to its “List of goods produced by child labor or forced labor” in an effort to raise public awareness of alleged violations of the solar supply chain.

The limited trade ban on Hoshine does not extend to establishing a region-wide WRO to block polysilicon imports from all entities in Xinjiang. The administration recently considered such a ban, POLITICO reported this week, but CBP often blocks imports from individual companies as it builds the legal case for broader action. The Trump administration took this approach, banning imports of XPCC ahead of a Xinjiang-wide ban on cotton and tomatoes.

Background: Biden administration has come under pressure from lawmakers on both sides to take action to respond to allegations of forced labor against ethnic Uyghur Muslims. Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee called on the Biden administration earlier this month to block imports of Chinese solar panels and other polysilicon-containing products made with forced labor in Xinjiang.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked on Wednesday whether the administration plans to ban imports of polysilicon from Xinjiang and whether that would undermine the administration’s goals of eliminating carbon dioxide in the region. the US economy. Psaki, in response, underscored the G-7’s commitment to ensuring that global supply chains are free from forced labor.

“Within this framework, you can expect the United States to continue to hold accountable those who engage in forced labor and that we will continue to remove products made from local forced labor from our supply chains.” , said Psaki. “We also remain committed to making progress nationally and internationally in tackling the climate crisis, but we believe we can certainly do both.”

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Richard V. Johnson