Forced Labor/U.K. Modern Slavery Act

On February 25, the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for the nominee for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Katherine Tai. Tai’s strong performance in the hearing demonstrated her poise and a depth of knowledge on the issues. She was well-prepared for Senators’ questions and is likely to receive a swift confirmation in the

On February 18, 2021, the House reintroduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (see press and bill) in the 117th Congress. Sponsored by Representatives James McGovern (D-MA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), the legislation updates H.R. 6210 from

In light of increased U.S. actions and rising global concerns over reports of forced labor in Xinjiang, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued the following Q&A responses:

General

On January 28 , 2021, Senators Rubio and Merkley re-introduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (see press and bill) with 27 additional co-sponsors. The bill includes important changes from the last Congress that addresses some of the concerns from the business community, including:

  • The effective import ban on goods originating from Xinjiang goes

On January 13, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) for cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang, an autonomous territory in northwest China. This is the fourth WRO that CBP has issued since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2021, and the second on products originating in Xinjiang. Eight of

On January 12, 2021, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, as well as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade, made parallel announcements outlining new measures to combat forced labor and human rights violations. The announcements come in the context of rising global concerns over reports of forced

On December 31, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) for seafood harvested on a Taiwanese fishing vessel named the Lien Yi Hsing No. 12. The order follows a separate decision in August of last year against the Da Wang, another Taiwanese fishing vessel suspected of similar violations. The

On November 30, 2020, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) placed all cotton and cotton products from Xinjiang Production and Construction Corporation (“XPCC”) and its subordinate and affiliated entities on the Withhold Release Orders (“WRO”) list. XPCC is a Chinese state-owned enterprise (“SOE”) which produces around 17 percent of the Xinjiang’s cotton and

New Business Guidance to Address Supply Chain Risks and Considerations

The Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security issued guidance on July 1, 2020 titled “Risks and Considerations for Businesses with Supply Chain Exposure to Entities Engaged in Forced Labor and other Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang” (the “advisory”).  The advisory broadly

On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 (the “Act”). Introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Act aims to direct U.S. resources to address human rights violations and abuses, including forced labor, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwestern China. Credible research and investigations