Calls to shift Xinjiang supply chains met with warnings of forced labour risks across Asia

Pressure is growing for UK and US companies to move supply chains out of Xinjiang following recent measures by both governments to crack down on imports of goods linked to the Chinese region. However, analysts suggest that switching to new suppliers elsewhere in the country, or even in Asia, comes with similar risks. Amid international outcry over reported human rights abuses – including the alleged sterilisation and use of forced labour on Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang – the US reacted last month by rolling out a wide-ranging import ban on all cotton, tomatoes and related downstream products from the region. A new report from global risk analytics and advisory company Verisk Maplecroft describes the withhold release order (WRO) as the “most sweeping” US import ban against China to date, given it targets exports from an entire region and not just specific manufacturers. The analysis says that the WRO has extensive implications for US apparel and food producers. While non-compliant American firms won’t be hit with financial penalties, the ban allows US Customs to detain any tomato or cotton-based goods from Xinjiang. Sofia Nazalya, a human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, says this will essentially make it… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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