The China Cotton Association strongly condemned and firmly opposed the United States' signing into law the so-called Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, it said in a statement on Saturday.
Since 2020, the US government started to restrict the import of cotton-related products from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region by issuing Xinjiang-related supply chain reports. The movement has caused huge economic losses, affecting relevant enterprises, and it has seriously damaged the reputation of Xinjiang and China's cotton textile industry, the statement said.
Xinjiang is a premium cotton-producing area in China, and the local annual cotton output is about 5 million metric tons. In recent years, with rising labor costs, the mechanization of cotton production in Xinjiang has made rapid progress.
The local cotton production has been using machines in the entire process, including precise sowing, drip irrigation, spray insecticide by drones, and harvest by cotton pickers. It has greatly reduced the labor intensity of cotton farmers, and improved agricultural production efficiency, according to the association.
This year, the machine-picking rate of cotton reached 87.9 percent in Xinjiang, and the cotton production sector has created jobs for some 600,000 local residents, the statement said.
As the second-largest cotton production country and the largest cotton importer and textile producer globally, China's cotton textile industry has made significant progress since the country's accession to WTO, and it has become an important link in the global textile industry chain, the statement said.
China's cotton and textile industries have been committed to protecting the rights and interests of workers, and have been continuously improving production conditions and quality. China has provided stable and reliable supply-chain services for global apparel and retail brands, and the industry should be treated fairly.
China's cotton and textile industry will continue to open up and cooperate with its overseas counterparts. External pressure and stigmatization cannot and will not hinder the high-quality and sustainable development of China's cotton and textile industry, the statement said.