US Congress

Regulatory News

Update Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act & Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act 

Sep. 24 2020

On September 18, 2020, the U.S. House Ways and Means, trade subcommittee hearing on “Enforcing the Ban on Imports Produced by Forced Labor in Xinjiang” took place. The hearing focused on responding to continuing reports of forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Witnesses included: 
1. Mr. Steve Lamar, President and CEO, American Apparel and Footwear Association
2. Ms. Rushan Abbas, Executive Director, Campaign for Uyghurs
3. Mr. Scott Nova, Executive Director, Worker Rights Consortium
4. Ms. Amy Lehr, Director and Senior Fellow, Human Rights Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies
5. Ms. Cathy Feingold, Director, International Department, AFL-CIO

At the start of the hearing, the House Rules Committee announced it will vote next week on the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R. 6210/S. 3471) and the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act (H.R. 6270) to set up a House vote on those bills later in the week.  
Both bills would impose a public reporting requirement for public companies on whether they have any nexus in Xinjiang and, if so, what they are doing to ensure there is no forced labor.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would go one BIG step further, creating a “rebuttable presumption” that any Uyghur found in your supply chain is considered forced labor under the U.S. forced labor statute, subject to a withhold release order (WRO). The House will likely approve the legislation, which will move the bills to the Senate, where action remains unclear. However, on September 16, key Senators sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection calling on them to implement a blanket WRO on Xinjiang.   
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