Dana Watts Comments on the Implications of Uniqlo's Connection with Xinjiang in Sourcing Journal

"'Every Supplier,' 'Every Tier': What Uniqlo's Xinjiang Links and Lapses Mean for Your Brand"

Sourcing Journal

05.27.2021

Dana Watts, Counsel at Miller & Chevalier, commented on how the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) recent seizure of a Uniqlo shipment over suspected forced labor linked to China's Xinjiang region has the apparel industry thinking about the implications for clothing destined for the U.S. market. Importers have expressed frustration with the lack of clarity from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about what constitutes proof of admissibility when shipments are detained. "It's still difficult for importers to know, at a practical level, what documentation they need to support if their goods are detained," Watts said. "In the not-so-distant past, a lot of ways that importers would address things like [environmental, social and governance] would be to have a code of conduct and have that part of their supply contracts." With CBP requesting documents that reach into the recesses of the supply chain or across every rung in the supply ladder, that is causing "a shift in thinking" for a lot of importers, she added.