The Secretary of State spoke with the US trade representative, Katherine Tai, on 22 March. They discussed a number of issues, including how the United Kingdom and the United States will collaborate to address shared concerns on serious matters such as forced labour. The Secretary of State also discussed the issue of forced labour with Ambassador Tai and her G7 counterparts during the G7 Trade Ministers meeting that she chaired on 31 March.
The Magnitsky-style sanctions against China are only the first step. While we welcome them, trade relations cannot be left out. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that UK consumers are not buying goods made with forced labour, and will the UK follow the US in banning imports of cotton from China’s Xinjiang region?
We are adopting a targeted approach to this issue, to make sure that we address the violations of rights and responsibilities. We have designated individuals and entities that have been involved in such violations. This is a smart tool, carefully targeted to achieve its goals, while minimising potentially negative wider impacts. It is not designed with a view to imposing sanctions on sectors within countries, for example.