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HKSAR-based textile firm sues US govt over ‘entity list’

A cotton harvesting machine works in a field in Manas county, Hui autonomous prefecture of Changji, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Oct 17, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

WASHINGTON – Esquel Group, a Hong Kong-based textile and apparel manufacturer, sued the US government after losing a number of high-profile customers following the placement of a subsidiary in China's Xinjiang region on the US "entity list", The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The (US) Department of Commerce provided no evidence to support its erroneous decision and acted far beyond its limited legal authority.

 James Tysse, Esquel Group's attorney 

In its lawsuit, the Chinese firm asked a federal judge to remove the cotton mill from the US Commerce Department export blacklist of "businesses that pose a national security threat," said the report.

READ MORE: Boycott of Xinjiang cotton use opposed

US officials listed the mill in Changji city of Xinjiang last July, accusing it of using forced labor, which the company denies.

"The Department of Commerce provided no evidence to support its erroneous decision and acted far beyond its limited legal authority," Esquel's attorney James Tysse said Tuesday in a statement.

The listing "contradicts the facts including audits by multiple world-class, thrid-party independent auditors using internationally recognized industry standards," and causes economic and reputational harm, the company said in the statement.

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