U.S. to Launch Probe on Automakers over Uighur Forced Labor


Washington, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--The U.S. Senate Finance Committee said Thursday that it will launch a probe into whether eight major automakers, including Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> and Honda Motor Co. <7267>, have links to alleged forced labor in China's Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region.

The United States put a law banning imports from the Chinese region in principle into effect in June and is urging companies around the world, including Japanese firms, to check their supply chains.

The committee disclosed letters sent to the CEOs of the eight automakers, also including Tesla Inc., General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. of the United States, Germany's Mercedes-Benz AG and Volkswagen AG, and U.S.-European company Stellantis NV, which owns U.S. car brand Chrysler.

In the letters, Ron Wyden, chairman of the committee, suggested the possibility that the automakers might have procured parts and materials from suppliers that use forced labor, citing a report released by Sheffield Hallam University in Britain earlier this month.

"Unless due diligence confirms that components are not linked to forced labor, automakers cannot and should not sell cars in the United States that include components mined or produced in Xinjiang," Wyden wrote. He asked the automakers to provide the committee with information on the matter by no later than Jan. 13.

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