Webinar: Xinjiang and Forced Labor: Sourcing Risks From China and Beyond

September 29, 2020

Speakers: Rich Harper – OIA, Chelsea Murtha – Sorini Samet & Associates, Andrew Samet – Sorini Samet & Associates and Nicole Schude – Sorini Samet & Associates

The Trump Administration has implemented a series of sanctions against Chinese companies tied to forced labor and other human rights violations against the Muslim Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). These sanctions include the listing of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) and other Chinese entities by the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) prohibiting U.S. persons from dealing with them; and, more aggressively, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s (CBP) use of withhold release orders (WROs) to detain imports suspected of being made with forced labor in Xinjiang. The Commerce Department has placed additional XUAR-connected enterprises on its Entity List, subject to technology export controls. Additional actions addressing forced labor in Xinjiang are expected to be announced by the administration.

U.S. importers should be aware that importing goods with connections to the XUAR represents a significant risk. On July 1, the Secretaries of the Departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Treasury and State issued a warning to U.S. businesses against commercial activity in the XUAR, citing potential civil and criminal liability under U.S. law, and that normal due diligence was not effective in the XUAR.

This webinar will provide background on the situation in the XUAR and on the potential impact on imports from China and third countries. It will provide an overview of the existing WROs, OFAC sanctions, and Entity List designations; additional potential sanctions; and the practical steps importers can take to identify and mitigate their risk going forward.