President Biden signed legislation banning imports from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region due to the presumption that they were produced using forced labor.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act includes a “rebuttable presumption” that all goods from Xinjiang were made with forced labor and imposes sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for forced labor in the region.
An exception is allowed in which the importer has fully complied with the guidance described in the law, completely and substantively responded to all inquiries for information submitted by the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border protection (CBP) to ascertain the origin of the goods, and “by clear and convincing evidence, that the good, ware, article, or merchandise was not mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor.”
The forced labor presumption takes effect on June 21, 2022.
The bill states that “The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection shall… apply a presumption that, with respect to any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China or produced by an entity… such goods, wares, articles, and merchandise are not entitled to entry at any of the ports of the United States.”
The law includes a provision for the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, which was created with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), to request public comments on how best to ensure that goods produced wholly or in part with forced labor in China are not imported into the United States.