Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Starting June 21, 2022, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Starting June 21, 2022, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) which was signed into law by President Biden on December 23, 2021, after it passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. 

For decades China has detained over a million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities which are mostly Turkic and Muslim, in re-education camps located in the western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Many of these people including children are forced to work in extremely repressive conditions. 

This law highlights United States’ commitment to preventing forced labor everywhere, including in Xinjiang, where genocide and crimes against humanity are ongoing.

What is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA)

The UFLPA law essentially prevents the import of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured entirely or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.The law additionally prohibits the import of goods produced by forced labor. 

Importers to the U.S. have to produce evidence that their supply chains do not touch Xinjiang or involve any forced labor or slavery practices.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency has released a guideline for importers as well as a list of prohibited entities to help the trade community in preparing for the implementation of the UFLPA.

The UFLPA Impact on the Technology Industry

According to New York Times, the connections between the region and global supply chains are far more expansive than just those industries.

Major brands such as Apple, Amazon, Intel, and Walmart, in the apparel, retail, technology, and automotive industries were identified by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and the nonprofit, Save Uyghur, as directly or indirectly have used Uyghur labor and workers.

“With China being one of the major producers of materials key to the electronic industry and the complexities around the semiconductor supply chain it is imperative for technology manufacturers to create visibility into their sub-tier supply chain.” -- Mohammad Ahmad, CEO of Z2Data

According to research firms, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and Kharon, Xinjiang produces more than 40 percent of the world’s polysilicon, over 50 percent of the world’s lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite, and makes 80 percent of the cells that power lithium-ion batteries which are key to the technology and automotive industries. 

The law also targets companies including Hoshine Silicon Industry Co., Ltd., Xinjiang East Hope Nonferrous Metals, Xinjiang Daqo New Energy, Xinjiang GCL New Energy Material Technology and XPCC. 

Hoshine Silicon Industry Co., Ltd. for example, is one of the world’s largest producers of silicon metal, which is used to produce photovoltaic cells in solar panels and semiconductors.

Xinjiang Nonferrous Metals claims to be one of China’s largest producers of lithium metal, and its second-largest producer of nickel cathode, which can be used to make batteries, stainless steel, and other goods. Additionally, they mine, zinc, beryllium, cobalt, vanadium, lead, copper, gold, platinum, and palladium which are key to many industries including the technology industry. 

In summary, the materials produced by Uyghur laborers are sourced in many products and the complexity of the technology supply chains makes it difficult to trace and produce records that show evidence that your supply chain does not involve forced labor practices or is not connected with Xinjiang. To learn more about how Z2Data can help you please contact us!

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