WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leader of the AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor federation, is calling on the Biden administration and Congress to stop imports of solar products from China’s Xinjiang region over human rights concerns.
In letters to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said there is “convincing evidence of systematic forced labor” in solar production in Xinjiang and he demanded “immediate focused action.”
“The Biden administration and Congress must act to block imports of solar products that contain polysilicon made with forced labor,” Trumka said in the letters, dated March 12.
The State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The AFL-CIO was an important supporter of President Joe Biden in his victory over former President Donald Trump in the November election.
The Biden administration has endorsed a last-minute determination by the Trump administration that China has committed genocide against Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang and has said the United States must be prepared to impose costs on China.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Michael Perry)