The new "Uygur Forced Labour Prevention Act" that's about to be adopted by U.S. lawmakers might just be one of the most cynical pieces of U.S. legislation ever, and that's saying something. A short 🧵

Dec 15, 2021 · 2:19 AM UTC

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First of all it's interesting to study the origins of the allegations of forced labor that the law is supposed to "prevent". An institution that's been instrumental to spread these allegations is called the "Better Cotton Initiative" (BCI).
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The BCI made headlines worldwide last year when it said it ceased all field-level activities in Xinjiang "due to allegations of forced labour and human rights issues" and has suspended all licensing for the region since March 2020.
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Who heads the Better Cotton Initiative? You don't say! The CEO of Supima, the lobbying arm for American cotton growers 🤭 Xinjiang produces about a fifth of the world's cotton, you start to understand why these guys would want to destroy one of their largest competitors...
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Another institution behind the accusations needs no introduction: ASPI, a defense think tank funded by weapon manufacturers and the U.S. and Australian governments. It did so with a report called "Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-education’, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang".
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Again, can we honestly trust weapon manufacturers and Western defense agencies to provide impartial information on China? At a time when the U.S.'s prime foreign policy objective is to "maintain its hegemony in the Indo-Pacific" and therefore benefits from slandering China?
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Then there's the inconvenient fact that whenever investigations on the ground in Xinjiang were made with regards to forced labor, they found nothing to substantiate the accusations. Sketchers for instance conducted several audits after ASPI accused them in their report 👇
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Other companies like Nike also found that ASPI had lied about them 👇 Sadly, given the accusations, like many companies they decided to discriminate against Xinjiang by banning all their suppliers from hiring anyone from the region, a very concrete consequence of the slander...
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Looking at the law itself, it contains what's called a “rebuttable presumption”. This means that, by default, ALL goods sourced wholly OR IN PART from Xinjiang are ASSUMED to be tainted with forced labour and therefore not eligible for import into the US.
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Companies can appeal, but only if they can prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that their supply chains don't have any forced labour. This means that companies would have to prove a negative, a "probatio diabolica" 👇, which is impossible to prove.
Replying to @RnaudBertrand
Probatio diabolica is when you make an accusation and use the lack of evidence as a proof that your accusation is correct. It's when absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It was named so because you can't disprove the existence of the devil, so it must be true...
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In effect, what this bill does is therefore try to destroy Xinjiang's economy by telling companies they won't be able to sell their products in the U.S. if they, or anyone in their supply chain, has any connection to Xinjiang. And that's helpful to the Uyghur people how? 🤔
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It couldn't be more obvious that this bill isn't aimed at helping the Uyghurs in any shape or form but rather impoverishing them so they'll - presumably - be more inclined to revolt.
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However, as we've seen with all such sanctions against Cuba, Iran, etc. it doesn't work. In fact in China the people have risen to help Xinjiang and products from the region have never been as popular 👇! The best possible answer to the U.S. sanctions!
Replying to @RnaudBertrand
There’s no way Xinjiang economy will tank now. Chinese people are buying more Xinjiang products. I myself has stopped buying any Western company tt boycott Xinjiang products. Maybe this can work 20 years ago but not now with the Chinese purchasing ability.
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Last but not least, another disastrous side effect of the Xinjiang ban is on climate change since 45% of worldwide polysilicon supply, a crucial component in solar panels, comes from Xinjiang 👇 As a result, this is a huge setback for the solar industry.
A reminder that 45% of worldwide polysilicon supply, a crucial component in solar panels, comes from Xinjiang. The US just forbad the world to buy anything from Xinjiang. A clear message that US supremacy over China is more important to them than preventing global warming...
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So here is a bill based on lies, presented as designed to "help people" when it in fact aims to destroy their livelihood, and to top it all will have disastrous effects on climate change. The U.S. has really outdone itself this time...
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