Uyghur forced labour is being widened by the Senate panel

ESPN

The head of the US Senate Finance Committee has expanded an investigation of BMW after the car maker was found to have imported vehicles to America that contained banned Chinese parts.
In a letter to BMW North America, Senator Ron Wyden, asked whether it had stopped importing components suspected of being made by people from China’s Uyghur minority group in forced labour conditions.
BMW Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The report found that the cars contained components made by Chinese firm Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD).
The US Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) into law in 2021.
JWD was added to the UFLPA Entity List in December 2023, which means its products are presumed to be made with forced labour.
China has has faced accusations of detaining more than one million Uyghurs in Xinjiang against their will in recent years.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denounced the UFLPA saying it “harms the survival and employment rights of the people in Xinjiang”.

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Following the discovery that BMW had imported automobiles into the US with illegal Chinese parts, the chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee decided to look into the automaker further.

Senator Ron Wyden wrote to BMW North America to inquire if the company had discontinued importing parts that were allegedly produced under forced labor conditions by members of China’s Uyghur minority.

An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by BMW Group.

BMW declared last month that it had “taken steps to halt the importation of affected products.”.

Following a two-year investigation by Senator Wyden’s staff, it was discovered that at least 8,000 BMW Mini Cooper vehicles with illegal parts had been brought into the US.

According to the report, Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD), a Chinese company, manufactured parts for the cars.

In a letter dated June 21, Senator Wyden questioned, “Is BMW certain that it is not currently importing vehicles containing components produced by JWD?”.

In addition, Volkswagen and Jaguar Land Rover were mentioned in the report.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was enacted by the US Congress in 2021.

The primary objective of the legislation is to prohibit the importation of goods originating from the Xinjiang region of northwest China, which is home to the majority of Uyghurs.

Since JWD was included on the UFLPA Entity List in December 2023, it is assumed that forced labor was used to produce its goods.

In the past few years, China has been accused of forcibly detaining over a million Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

All claims of violations of human rights in Xinjiang have been denied by Beijing.

The UFLPA has been criticized by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which claims it “harms the survival and employment rights of the people in Xinjiang.”.

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