Under the Biden Administration guidance, the federal government continues to intensify efforts to persuade businesses to avoid supply chains connected to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (UAR) as concern about the use of forced labor continues.
More than 40 countries have called on China to give United Nations Human Rights Chief immediate access to the Xinjian region as it is suspected more than a million people have been unlawfully detained as many are believed to be subjected to torture or forced labor.
On July 13, 2021, the U.S. issued an updated business advisory considering increased concerns about the use of forced labor with broader and stronger warnings to specific industries about doing business in the region. The advisory urges businesses and individuals to undertake heightened due diligence to identify potential supply chain links to entities operating in Xinjiang, linked to Xinjiang, or the use of Uyghur or other ethnic and Muslim minority laborers from Xinjiang.
Potential legal risks may include violation of statutes criminalizing forced labor for benefiting from participation in a venture while knowing it has engaged in forced labor. This includes dealing with designated persons, export control violations, and violation of the prohibition in imports of goods produced in whole or part with forced or convict labor.
While the advisory indicates the list of identified goods produced by industries in Xinjiang may not involve forced labor, the concern is raw and refined materials, commodities, intermediate goods, byproducts, and recycled materials may all have connections to forced labor and human rights violations in Xinjiang, regardless of the final product and region of origin or export.
Detailed information may be found within the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs website:
Please contact your Western Overseas representative if you have any questions.