The Biden administration is considering banning the import of solar cells into the US from China’s Xinjiang region, sources told Politico. These sources say the move by the Biden administration will ease bipartisan pressure over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, but will also undermine the country’s climate change goals The White House.
Polysilicon, is the material inside most solar panels. This is the kind of item that Joe Biden hopes will help replace fossil fuels and allow the US to eliminate carbon emissions from power generation by 2035 – a policy strongly criticized by Republicans.
Currently, about half of the world’s polysilicon supply comes from Xinjiang, where the Chinese government is accused of detaining millions of Uighur Muslims in concentration camps. The US State Department has labeled the CCP’s behavior in Xinjiang as “genocide”.
For months, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has been urging Mr. Biden to impose import restrictions on polysilicon, similar to those imposed by the Trump administration on cotton, tomatoes and other products. Another export from Xinjiang.
Now, the White House is considering a region-wide ban on polysilicon from Xinjiang, four sources told Politico.
The ban, known as a Withhold Release Order (WRO), would allow Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to seize at U.S. ports any imports they suspected to be made with forced labor.
While the agency is considering a region-wide ban, it may also choose to act more narrowly on specific factories or companies based in Xinjiang, two of the source said.
If implemented, the move would resemble the strategy the Trump administration used when it sanctioned shipments from a major paramilitary company in Xinjiang before imposing a region-wide ban on Chinese products. cotton products.
However, the time for Mr. Biden to issue this executive order has not been specified. Congressional sources said they have yet to be briefed on any impending moves from CBP.
Last week, Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives called on the Biden administration to block imports of Chinese solar panels and other products containing polysilicon manufactured with labor. rape in Xinjiang.
Democrats say there is “overwhelming evidence” of the use of forced labor in the production of polysilicon exceeding standards under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930.
Mr. Biden and the G7 nations brought human rights abuses to the fore at the recent Summit, when the countries signed a carefully crafted joint communiqué calling on China to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially in relation to Xinjiang”.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said recently, “We will be taking specific actions and countermeasures against forced labor in these areas and when you actually put that into practice. In fact, that will have an impact on Xinjiang.”