Apparel, tech companies face most risk if US widens China sanctions over Uighurs

Companies view policymakers' concerns as serious ones, said Anna Ashton, the senior director of government affairs for the US-China Business Council, which advocates for great trade between the nations. But she cautioned that if the U.S. orders companies to cut ties entirely with Xinjiang, it would go against accepted international best practices for addressing forced-labor concerns that encourage companies to remediate a problem. Cutting ties would leave a vacuum to be filled by "less transparent or responsible" businesses, thus simply shifting the problem elsewhere. "Some of the proposed remedies ... like having companies cut all direct and indirect ties with Xinjiang, will be very difficult to implement overnight," Ashton said. "Few of our members have operations or direct supplier relationships in Xinjiang, but guaranteeing there are no indirect ties of any kind will require some work."