US officials block shipment of Chinese hair goods over suspicion of forced labour
MEXICO CITY (MEXICO) – A shipment of hair extensions and accessories worth $800,000 from China was blocked by the US government on Wednesday. This comes amid doubts that the goods were made with forced labour.
The Customs and Border Protection agency said the shipment was blocked as per a June order against a Xinjiang firm which was suspected of employing prison and forced labour characterised by long working hours, pending dues and curbs on workers’ movements.
Goods manufactured using forced labour or prisoners or children are banned in the US.
The June 17 CBP order prevented the import of goods made by Xinjiang’s Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co.
It is the responsibility of the importers to prove that the goods were not produced utilising forced labour.
In a statement, Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of the CBP’s Office of Trade, said: “The use of forced labour is not just a serious human rights issue, but also brings about unfair competition in our global supply chains.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Chinese embassy said the suspicions of forced labour were part of an endeavour to bring down Chinese business.
“The lawful labour rights and interests of the Chinese citizens of all ethnic groups, including those in Xinjiang, are protected by law,” said the spokesperson.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field