The US Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) announced on September 14 the issuance of five new withhold release orders (WROs) on entities allegedly using forced labor in or from China’s western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The WROs bar the import into the United States of various goods alleged to be produced by forced, indentured, and convict labor (“Forced Labor”), including cotton, apparel, hair, and technology products.
CBP’s announcement is just the latest in a wider US government interagency effort to crack down on alleged human rights abuses related to ethnic minorities in XUAR. Companies are encouraged to take a fresh look at how their existing compliance programs address the risks of Forced Labor and related labor and human rights issues in their supply chains, as well as related economic sanctions and export controls risks.
For more information, click here to read the full client alert.