U.S. Legislators Urge Ban on Guoxuan and CATL, Cite Forced Labor Evidence

June 9, 2024
2 mins read
The battery inside an electric vehicle - Image Source - CATL
The battery inside an electric vehicle - Image Source - CATL

WASHINGTON — Several Republican members of Congress are urging the administration to add two Chinese battery manufacturers, Guoxuan High-Tech and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL), to the entity list and block their products from entering the United States.

Five Republican lawmakers, including John Moolenaar, chairman of the House Republican China Task Force, Mark Green, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Republican federal representatives Carlos Gimenez and Darin LaHood, jointly wrote to Robert Silvers, assistant secretary for strategy, policy, and plans at the Department of Homeland Security, on Wednesday, June 5th. In the letter, the lawmakers stated that they had found evidence that the production processes of these two companies were linked to forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China, violating the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and should be included in the entity list and their products banned from entering the United States.

In December 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which was unanimously passed by both houses of Congress. The act includes a core concept of “rebuttable presumption,” meaning that unless certified by U.S. authorities as not involving forced labor, all products mined, produced, or manufactured in Xinjiang are presumed to have used forced labor and are therefore prohibited from importation under U.S. law.

“The Select Committee has uncovered indisputable evidence that Gotion High Tech and CATL have supply chains that are deeply connected to forced labor and the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs in China.,” stated Rep. John Moolenaar of Michigan, the new chair of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. “That is why the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force must immediately add Gotion High Tech and CATL to the UFLPA Entity List and block the shipments of these companies from entering the United States. The American people expect companies in the U.S. to avoid all involvement with the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign of genocide,” he added.

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Guoxuan High-Tech, whose parent company is based in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, is currently investing $24 million in a large-scale plant in Green Charter Township, Mecosta County, near Big Rapids, Michigan. The project also received a $175 million grant from the Michigan government. Another Chinese battery manufacturer, CATL, is currently collaborating with Ford Motor Company in the United States. The two sides have signed an agreement, and Ford is building a factory in Michigan with plans to later use CATL’s battery production technology.

Lawmakers said that the supply chains of Guoxuan and CATL were “deeply affected” by their association with forced labor in Xinjiang. China has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region. The lawmakers mentioned that Guoxuan purchases aluminum foil from a subsidiary of Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Company, a Chinese state-owned enterprise that extensively uses forced labor, including forcing Han men and Uighur women and their families to live together. The U.S. government has sanctioned Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Company. The lawmakers also said that Guoxuan buys materials from Xinjiang Zhenhe, which has participated in the Chinese government’s “poverty alleviation through labor” program, purportedly addressing poverty but actually involving forced labor. Lawmakers said that CATL purchases lithium-ion anode materials from a subsidiary of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, which was previously listed by the United States for involvement in human rights abuses against Uighurs and is subject to U.S. government sanctions. In addition, lawmakers pointed out that CATL also purchases electrolytic nickel from Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Company. Lawmakers further named Yibin Tianyuan Group, one of CATL’s main suppliers, which they said also cooperates closely with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

The lawmakers said that if the Department of Homeland Security does not add CATL and Guoxuan to the entity list for any reason, they request an immediate briefing from the Department of Homeland Security.

Sunita Somvanshi

With over two decades of dedicated service in the state environmental ministry, this seasoned professional has cultivated a discerning perspective on the intricate interplay between environmental considerations and diverse industries. Sunita is armed with a keen eye for pivotal details, her extensive experience uniquely positions her to offer insightful commentary on topics ranging from business sustainability and global trade's environmental impact to fostering partnerships, optimizing freight and transport for ecological efficiency, and delving into the realms of thermal management, logistics, carbon credits, and energy transition. Through her writing, she not only imparts valuable knowledge but also provides a nuanced understanding of how businesses can harmonize with environmental imperatives, making her a crucial voice in the discourse on sustainable practices and the future of industry.

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