June 18, 2024

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Uyghur forced labor: Senate committee expands investigation into Chinese BMW parts

Uyghur forced labor: Senate committee expands investigation into Chinese BMW parts

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, BMW says it has “taken steps to stop importing affected products.”

  • author, Joao da Silva
  • Role, Business reporter

The chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee has expanded the investigation into BMW after it emerged that the automaker imported cars into America containing banned Chinese parts.

In a letter to BMW North America, Senator Ron Wyden asked whether the company had stopped importing components suspected of being made by people from China's Uyghur minority in forced labor conditions.

The BMW Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, BMW said it had “taken steps to stop importing the affected products.”

This came after a two-year long investigation by Senator Wyden's staff revealed that at least 8,000 BMW Mini Coopers with banned parts had been imported into the United States.

The report found that the cars contained components made by Chinese company Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD).

“Is BMW certain that it is not currently importing vehicles containing components produced by JWD?” Senator Wyden's letter said, requesting answers by June 21.

Other automakers mentioned in the report include Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen.

The U.S. Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) into law in 2021.

The legislation aims to prevent the import of goods from the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, where most Uyghurs live.

China has faced accusations of detaining more than a million Uighurs in Xinjiang against their will in recent years.

Beijing has rejected all allegations of human rights violations in Xinjiang.

China's Foreign Ministry denounced the UFLPA, saying it “harms the survival and employment rights of people in Xinjiang.”