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China Solar Panel Makers Left Off US Forced Labour Ban List

JinkoSolar Holding, Xinte Energy and Longi Solar were included in a 2021 report by risk consultancy Horizon Advisory that found signs of ties to forced labour


Three Chinese solar panel makers are excluded from a US list of importers banned over using slave labour in their clean energy operations.
Workers install a solar panel in Jiuquan, Gansu province. Expanding the scope of barred products could threaten US solar panel supplies. File photo: Reuters.

 

Three large Chinese solar panel makers have been excluded from a US list of importers banned because they are accused of using slave labour in their clean energy operations.

Seven members of Congress have asked Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas why JinkoSolar Holding, Xinte Energy and Longi Solar were left off the list.

All three were included in a 2021 report by geopolitical risk consultancy Horizon Advisory that found signs of ties to forced labour in their supply chains.

The lawmakers, all Democratic Party members, asked Mayorkas and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus how a federal task force compiled its list.

 

Supply Chain Disruptions

Expanding the scope of barred products could threaten US clean energy equipment supplies at a time the import-dependent industry is already grappling with supply chain disruptions, transmission constraints and other obstacles.

Those challenges are a major headwind to President Joe Biden’s goal to promote clean energy and decarbonise the US power sector by 2035.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act took effect last month to cut US purchases of products from Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities are reported to have established forced labour camps for ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim groups. Beijing denies abuses in Xinjiang.

The law gives the CBP discretion over which companies’ imports should be banned, and its list includes several makers of solar-grade polysilicon, a raw material used to produce solar panels for clean energy suppliers.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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