Uighur issues in financings

Uighur issues in financings

February 18, 2021 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Uighur issues are starting to play a role in financings.

The New York Times reported on January 9 about the possibility that Uighur labor is being used to make polysilicon or solar panels made by five Chinese solar panel suppliers. The five are GCL-Poly, East Hope Group, Daqo New Energy, Xinte Energy and Jinko Solar.

The US banned cotton and tomatoes imported from the Xinjiang region in western China in January.

The House voted nearly unanimously in September to ban “all goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part” in Xinjiang, unless US Customs can be persuaded by “clear and convincing evidence” that the products were not made with forced labor by Uighur Muslims. The bill failed to pass the Senate at year end after lobbying by apparel and technology companies concerned about the difficulty of tracing supply chains.

A bipartisan group of 29 Senators reintroduced the bill in late January.

Banned goods would be subject to seizure at the US border.

Solar companies have been trying to diversify supply chains to avoid potentially affected products. The Solar Energy Industries Association said it is working to create traceability protocols for the industry that it expects to release before the end of March.