- On July 13, the U.S. government released an updated version of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory advising U.S. companies of the widespread, PRC-government sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance practices targeting ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang.
- The Advisory urges U.S. companies with supply chains, ventures or investments connected to Xinjiang to undertake heightened due diligence efforts.
- S. companies that do not exit supply chains or ventures connected to Xinjiang are at high risk of violating U.S. law.
On July 13, 2021, the U.S. government released an updated version of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory (“Advisory”), originally released in July 2020. The Advisory warns U.S. companies that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government continues to engage in “horrific abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) and elsewhere in China, targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and ethnic Kyrgyzin,” including state-sponsored forced labor and other human rights abuses amidst ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity. Importantly, it highlights the high risk to businesses with supply chain or investment links to Xinjiang, which include risk of U.S. customs violations and seizure of goods and U.S. export control and sanctions violations. The U.S. Department of Labor and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have now joined as co-signatories to the Advisory, along with the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security. Companies should note that, although the Advisory highlights risks under U.S. law, the same activity may also violate non-U.S. laws targeting modern slavery or human rights abuses in various jurisdictions.