Ban on Forced Labor Imports Threatens US Supply Chains

Ban on Forced Labor Imports Threatens US Supply Chains

On June 21, a new U.S. law is set to take effect that bars imported goods produced in the Chinese manufacturing hub of Xinjiang unless companies can prove the products have no ties to forced labor. Congress unanimously passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in December of last year as a direct response to the Chinese treatment of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities. The law intends to demonstrate the U.S. refusal to accept merchandise made by workers in detention camps.

Business groups have raised alarms about the effect a strict crackdown could have on the U.S. supply chain as consumers continue to face high inflation and product shortages. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency in charge of enforcing the ban, has acknowledged that the law “will likely exacerbate current supply-chain disruptions” in a recent budget request before Congress. CBP also stated that all U.S. imports “will be subject to delays in processing time” as a result of the law.

The U.S. imports over $500 billion worth of Chinese goods annually. CBP has not kept businesses informed about how exactly the measure will be enforced.

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