fredag 15. januar 2021

Withhold Order on Xinjiang Cotton Products Warning to US Importers Over Supply Chains

A top customs official said Thursday that Washington is not seeking a total ban on cotton products from northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) but sounding a warning to American firms to review their supply chains amid concerns of forced labor.

On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) to detain all cotton products and tomatoes from the XUAR at the country’s ports of entry, saying that the agency had identified indicators of forced labor including debt bondage, restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said that the WRO will apply to apparel, textiles, tomato seeds, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce, as well as to products manufactured in other countries that use cotton and tomatoes from the XUAR. The U.S. imported U.S. $9 billion worth of cotton products and $10 million of tomatoes from China over the past year, according to the CBP. Most of China’s cotton is from the XUAR.