SCMP: US farm brand John Deere at forefront of surging cotton machinery sales to Xinjiang
Tue August, 2020, Age: 3 years
From the article: “America’s most iconic farm brand has quietly established itself as a key player in Xinjiang’s immense cotton industry, even as industry and human rights groups warn that the supply chain there is laced with the forced labor of Uygurs and other Muslim ethnic minority groups.” As U.S. lawmakers passed a set of landmark legislation to investigate and sanction human rights abuses in Xinjiang, U.S. and Chinese customs data showed a spike in exports of cotton-picking machinery from the U.S. to China. Even as apparel companies have faced huge pressure by politicians and consumers to divest from suppliers linked to forced labor practices in Xinjiang, an analysis by SCMP shows that the foreign firms making and selling the equipment used in Xinjiang’s vast cotton-producing infrastructure have flown under the radar. The details of John Deere’s business in Xinjiang serve as a case study for how difficult it will be to decouple from China.