The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on September 14, 2020 that forced labor goods from China are now banned. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued Withhold Release Orders on products produced in China’s Xinjiang province. In a statement Acting CBP Commissioner Mark A. Morgan stated that the forced labor goods banned sends “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.”
China’s Treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang
The Uighurs are a native ethic minority in the Xinjiang province of China. Most are Uighurs are Muslims. The Chinese government has detained between 1 to 3 million Uighurs in “re-education” centers to undergo psychological indoctrination programs. This program is considered the largest internment of an ethnic-religious minority since World War II.
Along with torture, forced sterilization, and sexual abuse, Uighurs are subjected to forced labor to produce a number of products. Many of these products are exported worldwide. The Chinese Communist Party has a used forced labor camps since the days of Mao Zedong in 1949.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute Report
An investigation conducted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute concluded that local governments and private brokers being “paid a price per head” by the Xinjiang government to organize detainment of Uighurs. While the Chinese government claims detention is used to combat religious extremism, many have been detained for praying or wearing a veil. The report called on international companies to conduct a review of their supply chains to ensure human rights are not being violated.
Xinjiang Forced Labor Goods Banned
The CBP has been ordered to withhold the release of the following goods:
- Products made with labor from Lop County No. 4 Vocational Skills Education and Training Center in Xinjiang.
- Hair products made in the Lop County Hair Product Industrial Park in Xinjiang.
- Apparel produced by Yili Zhuowan Garment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Baoding LYSZD Trade and Business Co., Ltd in Xinjiang.
- Cotton produced and processed by Xinjiang Junggar Cotton and Linen Co., Ltd. in Xinjiang.
- Computer parts made by Hefei Bitland Information Technology Co., Ltd. in Anhui, China.
These goods are being banned under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307). This regulation prohibits the importation of all goods and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in any foreign country by forced labor, convict labor, or/and indentured labor under penal sanctions, including forced child labor.
China’s Continuing Trade Issues
China has been under increased scrutiny by the international community. This is resulting in increased trade barriers being imposed by many nations including the United States.
- On August 26, 2020 the BIS placed Chinese companies involved in the building of artificial islands in the South China Seas on the Entity List thereby preventing them from receiving U.S. exports.
- In July of 2020 Hong Kong Special Status has been revoked by the Commerce Department due inhumane crack down of dissidents.
- In May 15, 2020 the U.S. restricted Huawei’s access to U.S. semiconductor design and manufacture capabilities.
CVG Strategy Export Compliance
International trade laws are undergoing constant change. This action concerning labor in the Xinjiang region is but one concern. Remaining compliant to laws regarding import and export of goods requires constant vigilance and training. CVG experts can help you establish and maintain an effective compliance program to avoid fines, penalties, loss of business and even imprisonment. We can also provide the essential training to keep your team up to date.