China considering allowing more cotton imports after western boycott

The Chinese government is considering allowing more cotton imports than usual this year following the decision by major US brands to avoid using cotton from the controversial Uighur region of Western China.

China are thought to possibly issue another batch of import quotas soon to meet the global demand for textiles after awarding 700,000 tons last month after issuing only 400,000 tons of quotas in 2020, according to Huatai Futures.

The US government banned all cotton products that had origins from Xinjiang earlier this year over China’s alleged human rights abuses of its ethnic Uighur Muslim population.

The Biden administration has increased pressure on Beijing over Xinjiang, where a number of human rights groups and a panel of United Nations analysts accused China of forcing Uighurs to mass arbitrary detention and working against their will.

READ MORE: Nike, H&M and Zara accused of selling harmful children’s clothing by China

The US is also reportedly about to ban some solar products made from the region according to Bloomberg.

Major retail brands like H&M and Nike suffered a boycott from Chinese consumers after they denounced the alleged workers rights abuses in Xinjiang, seeing sales in the region suffer as a result.

The former refusing to use cotton from the region, which makes up about 80 per cent of Chinese cotton output as well as a fifth of the world’s supply of the textile.

The global demand for apparel is on the rise again as global recovery shows signs of getting back to pre-pandemic levels after the heights of the pandemic.

According to customs data, cotton imports from China have increased after the ban in the US, seeing figures averaging around 275,000 tons a month compared to 179,000 in 2020.

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