Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to U.S. customs officials asking them to explain why three major Chinese solar producers were excluded from a list of banned imports under a new law that seeks to halt slave labor.
Seven House Democrats, led by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, requested an explanation from federal authorities on how the federal task force compiled its banned import list in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus. The letter arrived amid President Joe Biden’s attempts to transform the U.S. energy sector by 2035, which include lifting tariffs on the Chinese state-run solar industry.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act went into effect in June to prevent U.S. imports of products that come from Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities reportedly put up forced labor camps to house Uyghur Muslims and minority groups.
The act provides The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with discretion over which companies’ imports should be banned, and its list currently includes several makers of solar-grade polysilicon, a raw material used to produce solar panels.
The Democratic representatives asked why JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd, Xinte Energy Co Ltd and Longi Solar were left off the list since all three were included in a 2021 report from Sheffield Hallam University that found signs of ties to forced labor in solar supply chains.
“The United States cannot stand by as the Chinese Communist Party tries to flood our markets with goods made by forced labor and harm American workers in the process,” said Ryan on Twitter.
“There is no excuse to do business with a foreign company potentially exploiting slave labor when we have American workers and businesses ready to go,” he stated.
The DHS, CBP and the three Chinese firms did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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