Updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory
On July 13, 2021, the U.S. Department of State, alongside the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Department of Labor issued an updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory to highlight the heightened risks for businesses with supply chain and investment links to Xinjiang, given the entities complicit in forced labor and other human rights abuses there and throughout China. This updates the original Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory issued by U.S. government agencies on July 1, 2020.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government continues its horrific abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) and elsewhere in China, targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and ethnic Kyrgyz who are predominantly Muslim, and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups. These abuses include widespread, state-sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance, forced population control measures and separation of children from families, mass detention, and other human rights abuses amidst ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity. Given the severity and extent of these abuses, businesses and individuals that do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang could run a high risk of violating U.S. law.
The updated advisory highlights:
- Information related to widespread, state-sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance in and related to Xinjiang;
- Information related to the various kinds of risks and potential exposure to state-sponsored forced labor and human rights abuses related to Xinjiang;
- The U.S. Department of State Guidance on Implementing the “UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” for Transactions Linked to Foreign Government End-Users for Products or Services with Surveillance Capabilities;
- Information for investors in PRC companies linked to surveillance in Xinjiang;
- Information on due diligence related to banking, financial institutions and other investors;
- Information from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Labor;
- Updated information about U.S. government actions taken in response to human rights abuses in and in connection to Xinjiang, including but not limited to the issuance of Withhold Release Orders by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the addition of entities to the U.S. Department of Commerce Entity List, the imposition of economic sanctions by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the imposition of visa restrictions by the U.S. Department of State, and the addition of goods to the U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor (Annex 1);
- Information on forced labor in the Xinjiang silicon and polysilicon supply chain and the prevalence of inputs sourced from Xinjiang (Annex 4); and
- A list of other countries’ regulatory provisions and information on forced labor in supply chains (Annex 7).
U.S. Department of State Guidance on Implementing the “UN Guiding Principles” for Transactions Linked to Foreign Government End-Users for Products or Services with Surveillance Capabilities
This guidance is a first-of-its-kind tool intended to provide practical and accessible human rights guidance to U.S. businesses seeking to prevent their products or services with surveillance capabilities from being misused by government end-users to commit human rights abuses.
The Department of State’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international documents. The reports can include specific information on foreign government agencies, including Chinese government agencies.
The Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report grades countries, including China, on a four-tier scale in their efforts to meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking and provides content specific to forced labor and sex trafficking in each country.
The Department of Labor’s annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories, excluding China, to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies, and social programs.
The Department of Labor maintains a list of goods and their source countries, including China, for which it has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards, as required under the of 2005 and subsequent reauthorizations. Artificial Flowers, Christmas Decorations, Coal, Footwear, Garments, and Nails are included for forced labor of adults; Textiles are included for child labor; and Bricks, Cotton, Electronics, Fireworks, and Toys are included for both forced labor of adults and child labor.
The Department of Labor maintains a list of products and their source countries, including China, which it has a reasonable basis to believe are produced by forced or indentured child labor, pursuant to . This List is intended to ensure that U.S. federal agencies and contracted parties do not procure goods made by forced or indentured child labor. Bricks, Cotton, Electronics, and Toys feature on this list currently.
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) report published January 2021 highlights multiple concerning human rights issues, including the mass, arbitrary internment of Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities.
The Responsible Sourcing Tool, developed by the State Department and Verité, assists U.S. federal contractors, procurement officials, and companies to better identify, prevent, and address the risks of human trafficking in their global supply chains.
U.S. CBP’s fact sheet sets out resources to assist companies with strengthening their policies and procedures to mitigate the risk of child and forced labor in their global supply chains.
U.S. CBP publishes WROs issued by the Commissioner and Findings in the Federal Register. CBP does not generally publicize specific detentions, re-exportations, exclusions, or seizures of the subject merchandise that may have resulted from the WROs or findings.
U.S. ICE HSI’s fact sheet provides information on the Forced Labor Program that coordinates criminal investigations into allegations of forced labor (including forced child labor) resulting in the manufacturing or production of goods overseas imported into the United States.