Department of Labor Tags China as Leader in Forced Labor — Gloves, Footwear, Cotton and Toys Impacted

House passes bill requiring disclosure & penalties for use of forced labor in XUAR region of China

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor identified China as the global leader in production of goods using forced labor, specifically good made in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The list of products made with forced labor includes gloves, footwear, toys and locally harvested cotton inputs. The full list can be found here: List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor

In response, the House of Representatives passed the “Uighur Forced Labor Disclosure Act“ (253–163) to require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to collect information from public companies importing into the U.S. on the source of their production in China, especially any production in the XUAR or use of product inputs from the XUAR. Companies importing products connected to the XUAR, must provide information on labor used, details about commercial activity, financial information and plans for future production of the goods or inputs from the XUAR.

The Senate has not voted on XUAR legislation but there are two bills pending before it that have both passed the House. “The Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act” is similar to the House version in requiring additional disclosures by public companies doing business in the XUAR but also presumes that all goods made in or using inputs from the XUAR are impacted by forced labor. The other Senate bill “Uighur Forced Labor and Prevention Act” requires disclosure for non-manufactured goods made in the XUAR. This bill also passed the House (406–3) but it is unclear at this time when the Senate will take up either bill.

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