December 4, 2023

US Senators Urge Customs To Enforce Uyghur Forced Labour Act

Several US senators have called upon the US Customs and Border Protection to ensure Chinese companies are not evading US laws against forced labour and costing American jobs.

In a letter, they urged the US Customs to strictly enforce provisions in trade agreements with Central American and North American trading partners.

According to the senators, the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), allow the agency to conduct oversight of trading partners’ supply chains.

“Recent reports of textile and apparel mill closures in the US raise serious concerns, due to lack of customs enforcement, which is a key factor contributing to declining demand,” the senators wrote.

“Insufficient enforcement can create a pathway for banned Xinjiang cotton to infiltrate regional supply chains and undermine efforts to enforce the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act,” they added.

The letter added that as a significant producer of cotton, it is critical that the US take every step necessary to support domestic textile and apparel producers.

The letter urged actions that are quicker, tougher, and directly responsive to the trade cheating that happens, before these products are sent to the US and keep those textiles from entering the country.

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