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Virginia Newman Discusses the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in Globe Trade Review

"Biden Signs Uyghur Forced Labor Act into Law, Prolonging Supply Chain Uncertainty"

Global Trade Review

Virginia Newman discussed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which President Biden signed into law in late December. The UFLPA prevents businesses from importing goods into the U.S. from China's Xinjiang region, unless they can prove products were not made with forced labor. "The UFLPA sets forth an ambitious target: preventing companies from importing into the U.S. any goods made in whole or in part in Xinjiang. This is less a signal from the administration, and more a signal from U.S. Congress, which has debated several different versions of the bill over the past two years," Newman said. The UFLPA "may result in detentions of shipments [of goods imported into the U.S.] for which they are ill prepared," Newman said, adding that if companies wait to implement anti-forced labor due diligence until U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has provided more clarity on the law's execution, they may be "caught flat-footed and will face an uphill battle to demonstrate the admissibility of their goods, should they be detained." Newman noted that the UFLPA's provision requiring U.S. authorities to provide "'guidance to importers' regarding how to effectively conduct diligence and trace their supply chains may actually offer relief to companies in industries already subject to enforcement by CBP pursuant to existing WROs."