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

A group of House Democrats yesterday sent a letter to US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus asking why certain Chinese companies have not been included on a list of known companies. is that they use slave labor in connection with the enforcement of the Uyghur Law on the Prevention of Forced Labor.

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), inquired why solar products from JinkoSolar, Xinte Energy and LONGi Solar are excluded. A 2021 report including the companies because they have ties to forced labor in their supply chains.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, signed by President Biden in December 2021 and in effect since June 21, 2022, prohibits the importation into the United States of goods, commodities, articles and merchandise that are wholly or in part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The act is in response to China’s alleged mass incarceration, torture and enslavement of the Uyghur people.

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

The Department of Homeland Security has released a list of companies operating in Xinjiang that: known to use forced labor before the enforcement of 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 ranks among the top 10 polysilicon manufacturers in the world and manufactures in Xinjiang. Jinko and LONGi are solar wafer, cell and panel manufacturers in China. Jinko has a silicon rod factory in Xinjiang and purchases polysilicon from Daqo, according to the letter from congressmen.

“China is engaged in a campaign of widespread, systematic persecution of the Uyghur people,” said Rep. Kaptur about the letter. Kaptur represents the Ohio district where the world’s largest thin-film solar panel manufacturer First Solar is located. “The United States must support American companies and American workers — not watch China enslave its own people and then make money from their misery.”

Both Jinko and LONGi have had solar panels retained under the previous WRO in effect for products that may use Hoshine polysilicon made in Xinjiang. The companies had to prove that their products did not contain materials made with slave labor in order to release the products into the port.

The full letter is below:

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