House Democrats want to know why some Chinese solar companies aren’t on UFLPA’s enforcement list

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A group of House Democrats yesterday sent a letter to US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus asking why some Chinese companies were not included in a list of companies known to use slave labor in reference to enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

The letter, sent by Representatives Marcy Kaptur (OH), Tim Ryan (OH), Brendan Boyle (PA), Mike Doyle (PA), Bill Pascrell (NJ), Tom Suozzi (NY) and Stephanie Murphy (FL), has asked why solar products made by JinkoSolar, Xinte Energy and LONGi Solar were excluded. A The 2021 report included companies as having links to forced labor in their supply chains.

Signed into law by President Biden in December 2021 and enforced since June 21, 2022, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act prohibits the importation of any goods, commodities, items, and merchandise into the United States that are mined, produced, or wholly manufactured or part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The act is a response to the massive imprisonment, torture and enslavement of the Uyghur people by China.

In addition to cotton and tomatoes, polysilicon is under scrutiny under the UFLPA. It is estimated that nearly 50% of the world’s polysilicon comes from the Xinjiang region. Polysilicon is the cornerstone of crystalline silicon solar panels.

The Department of Domestic Security has released a list of companies working in Xinjiang that are known to use forced labor before the entry into force of the UFLPA on June 21. No downstream solar companies are listed, but a few polysilicon companies are, including Hoshine, Daqo, GCL and East Hope.

Xinte Energy is among the top 10 polysilicon manufacturers in the world and manufactures in Xinjiang. Jinko and LONGi are manufacturers of solar wafers, cells and panels located in China. Jinko has a silicon ingot factory in Xinjiang and buys polysilicon from Daqo, according to the letter from members of Congress.

“China is engaged in a campaign of widespread and systematic persecution of the Uyghur people,” Rep. Kaptur said of the letter. Kaptur represents the Ohio district that includes the world’s largest thin-film solar panel maker, First Solar. “The United States must support American businesses and American workers – not sit idly by while China enslaves its own people and then profits off their misery.”

Both Jinko and LONGi have had solar modules held under the previous WRO in effect for products possibly using Xinjiang-made Hoshine polysilicon. Companies had to prove that their products did not contain materials made with forced labor to release the products at the port.

The full letter is below:

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