Xinjiang law shows the scope – and limits – of US economic power

A new US law to punish forced labor in China’s western Xinjiang region shows the still terrifying reach of US economic power – and its borders.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which was signed into law in December and entered into force last week, requires U.S. importers to show that goods from Xinjiang were not produced by forced labor – a difficult standard as many Western auditing firms have stopped investigating claims about forced labor there, and that the government routinely restricts outsiders’ access to places. Western researchers say authorities in Xinjiang have imprisoned hundreds of thousands of Uighurs, a Turkish Muslim minority, and that many have been subjected to forced labor among other abuses. Beijing denies all such claims.

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