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Top officials in the Senate Finance Committee have intensified their probe into BMW’s use of electronic components from a banned Chinese supplier.

Senator Ron Wyden, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, announced on Monday that the investigation into BMW’s import practices is intensifying. A two-year investigation revealed that the German automaker imported at least 8,000 Mini Cooper vehicles into the United States containing parts from Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD), a Chinese supplier banned under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) of 2021. BMW allegedly continued these imports until at least April.


Uyghur Forced Labour July Voguebus Liu Xin China News Service Via Getty Images July 20 Promo

In a new letter to BMW North America CEO Sebastian Mackensen, Wyden questioned if BMW had thoroughly examined its supply chain to ensure no other products contained parts from JWD. “Is BMW certain that it is not currently importing vehicles containing components produced by JWD?” Wyden asked, demanding answers by June 21. He also requested information on actions taken to address any cars or spare parts containing JWD components imported after December 2023.

Although BMW did not immediately comment on the news, the company stated last month that it had halted the importation of the affected products and would replace the specific parts. BMW has maintained that it has “strict standards” regarding employment practices, human rights, and working conditions, which all direct suppliers must adhere to.

More on the UFLPA:
The UFLPA was enacted to prevent the import of goods from China’s Xinjiang region, suspected of being produced with forced labor by the Uyghur minority. The Chinese government has been accused of detaining over a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, subjecting them to forced labor in various industries, including textiles, electronics, and agriculture. These individuals are reportedly held in so-called “re-education camps” where they face severe human rights abuses, including restricted freedom of movement, intensive surveillance, and coercive labor practices. China denies the accusations, with officials equating the claims to “propaganda” and “smearing.”


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