A federal border control authority is banning products that appear to be made from forced labor.
A variety of fabric, clothing, hair products, and computer parts will be prohibited because there are reasonable grounds to suspect they originated from state-sponsored forced labor camps in mainland China.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed it issued five withhold release orders because the products appear to be made in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has been accused of committing “systemic human rights abuse” against the indigenous Uighur people, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong adherents, underground Christians, and other minorities.
“The Trump administration will not stand idly by and allow foreign companies to subject vulnerable workers to forced labor while harming American businesses that respect human rights and the rule of law,” CBP acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said. “[This will] send a clear message to the international community that we will not tolerate the illicit, inhumane, and exploitative practices of forced labor in U.S. supply chains.”
The decision means several offending items will no longer be permitted to enter the United States.
Man-made product from the Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center; hair products from Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park; cotton from Xinjiang, Junggar Cotton and Linen; computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology; and apparel from both Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business are all banned.
CBP has credible information that many workers at these businesses are coerced, intimidated, threatened, working under duress, allowed just limited movement, and even having wages withheld. There also appears to be a relatively high level of both forced and convict labor used.
“By taking this action, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is combating illegal and inhumane forced labor. A type of modern slavery used to make goods that the Chinese government [CCP] then tries to import into the United States,” DHS acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said. “When China attempts to import these goods into our supply chains, it also disadvantages American workers and businesses. President [Donald] Trump and this department have, and always will, put American workers and businesses first and protect American citizens from participating in these egregious human rights violations.”
During 2020, CBP issued an “unprecedented” 12 withhold release orders, from which two-thirds involved products from China.
Under section 307 of the Tariff Act, it is unlawful to import goods and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured in any foreign country that used forced labor, convict labor, child labor, or indentured labor.
Anyone worried about the origins of a foreign-made product can express concern via CBP’s e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by phoning 1800 BE ALERT (1800 232 5378).