Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced new enforcement actions to eliminate the use of forced labor practices in the U.S. supply chain and promote accountability for the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and other religious and ethnic minority groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF), chaired by DHS, voted to add three People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List. Today’s announcement brings the total number of entities designated on the UFLPA Entity List to 27 companies.
“We do not tolerate companies that use forced labor, that abuse the human rights of individuals in order to make a profit,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to prosecute these companies, fight for the rights of the abused, and work towards the eliminate of Uyghur forced labor in the People’s Republic of China.”
The Department of Homeland Security is also a co-sponsor of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory Addendum released today by the U.S. Department of State, along with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Labor. The addendum contains information about the ongoing, widespread, and pervasive risks in supply chains posed by PRC-sponsored forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang, as well as implementation and enforcement of the UFLPA that would be of particular interest to the business and importing communities. Since the last Xinjiang Business Advisory was published in July 2021, there have been additional reports on the continuing human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Effective September 27, 2023, goods produced by Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co. Ltd., Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co. Ltd., and Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co. will be restricted from entering the United States as a result of the companies’ participation in business practices that target members of persecuted groups, including Uyghur minorities in the PRC.
Xinjiang Zhongtai Group Co. Ltd., is headquartered in Xinjiang and produces and sells polyvinyl chloride (PVC), iconic membrane caustic soda, industrial salt, calcium carbide, viscose fiber, viscose yarn, and other textile, chemical, and building materials. Xinjiang Tianshan Wool Textile Co. Ltd. is headquartered in Xinjiang and sells and manufactures cashmere and wool garments, as well as velvet and other textile products. Xinjiang Tianmian Foundation Textile Co. is headquartered in Xinjiang and produces yarn and textile products. DHS will publish the revised UFLPA Entity List as an appendix to a Federal Register notice.
The UFLPA, signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in December 2021, prohibits goods from being imported into the United States that are either produced in Xinjiang, or by entities identified on the UFLPA Entity List, unless the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that the goods were not produced with forced labor. CBP began enforcing the UFLPA in June 2022. Since then, CBP has reviewed more than 5,000 shipments valued at more than $1.74 billion under the UFLPA. The FLETF – which also includes the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Departments of Labor, State, the Treasury, Justice and Commerce – will continue to consider designations to the UFLPA Entity List.
“The United States does not, and will not, tolerate products made with forced labor coming into our country,”said the Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans Robert Silvers. “Through the enforcement actions taken today, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force is again making clear our country’s resolve to keep the global supply chain fair, just, and secure for all.”
In August, DHS also released the 2023 Updates to the Strategy to Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, Produced, or Manufactured with Forced Labor in the People’s Republic of China. DHS and its components are continuing to lead the federal government’s efforts to change importer behavior and hold perpetrators accountable for egregious forced labor abuses as outlined in the strategy.
You can read more about the FLETF by visiting: www.dhs.gov/uflpa.