Chairs Say Entity List Additions a “Step in the Right Direction” but Robust Enforcement of UFLPA Still Needed

(Washington)—The Chairs of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), issued the following statement concerning the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement of additions to the “Entity List” required by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). The Chairs were the primary cosponsors of UFLPA with former CECC Chairs Marco Rubio (R-FL) and James P. McGovern (D-MA). 

“The action announced today is a step in the right direction, as researchers have identified thousands of companies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) using forced labor to produce goods for the U.S. and global markets. The identification of Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. Ltd. and Ninestar Corporation and their various affiliates is important because it offers clear guidance to American companies for supply-chain mapping. But an expanded ‘Entity List’ is only one part of UFLPA enforcement and forced labor goods made with ties to the XUAR—car parts, solar panels, rayon, and garments from fashion companies such as TEMU and SHEIN—continue to enter the U.S. market, so we will continue to work with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection toward the goal of stopping imports of forced labor made goods. American consumers should not be unwittingly subsidizing the PRC’s genocide in the XUAR.” 

See the Chairs’ statements and witness testimony from the CECC hearing “Implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and the Impact on Global Supply Chains” for recommendations about how to more robustly enforce the UFLPA.

The Chairs also wrote to Under Secretary Robert Silvers, Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, outlining concerns about UFLPA implementation, including about the need for an expanded “Entity List” and other issues, such as addressing “de minimis” import from fast fashion companies like TEMU and SHEIN, and addressing the challenge of transshipment of XUAR-related goods. See the response from Under Secretary Silvers to the Chairs' lettter.