Senate unanimously passes UFLPA
Updated Xinjiang business advisory elevates warnings against doing business in XUAR
Industries at risk for forced labour
Highest value US imports from Xinjiang in 2021: HTSUS chapter code
What do these developments mean for US companies?


The passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), the issuance of the updated Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory and other recent government actions may indicate that all products produced in whole or partially in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) may soon be banned in the United States. Companies should be aware that this may impact on their ability to fulfil contracts, stock shelves and source materials for manufacturing.

Amid daily reports of human rights atrocities occurring in the XUAR of China, the Biden administration is fulfilling its G7 commitment to remove forced labour from global supply chains. The US government has recently taken action against forced labour by:

These actions go beyond restrictions on cotton products and silica; they create supply chain risks for any company with a nexus to the XUAR. Many other products, which are outlined below, are produced in the XUAR and may soon be prohibited from entering the United States. These actions underscore the immediate need for companies to conduct supply chain due diligence to identify forced labour risks and occur before goods are stopped at the border.

Senate unanimously passes UFLPA

On 14 July 2021 the Senate unanimously passed the UFLPA (UFLPA; S 65), which effectively bans US imports of products manufactured in whole or partially in the XUAR or by Uyghurs or other persecuted groups subjected to state-organised forced labour across China. This legislation would create a "rebuttable presumption" that goods manufactured in the XUAR or by labourers forcibly removed from that region are made with forced labour. Thus, they are banned unless the importer can affirmatively prove that the goods were not produced with forced labour. This bill requires notice and comment as well as hearings on how to:

  • enforce these prohibitions;
  • develop lists of implicated entities;
  • identify tools that US Customs and Border Protection can use to trace goods made in the XUAR; and
  • provide guidance for importers on how to conduct due diligence and prove that goods are not produced with forced labour.

The bill must also pass the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Biden to sign. A timeline for passage in the House of Representatives is unclear but there are strong indications that the bill will pass as forced labour legislation has bipartisan support.

Updated Xinjiang business advisory elevates warnings against doing business in XUAR

On 13 July 2021, just one day before the UFLPA was passed, the US State Department, in conjunction with other government agencies, issued an updated Xinjiang Business Advisory that firmly warns businesses against doing business in the XUAR:

Given the severity and extent of these abuses, including widespread, state-sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance taking place amid ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, businesses, and individuals that do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang could run a high risk of violating US law.

This document provides an update regarding government actions in connection with forced labour in the XUAR, including the new WROs and entity list additions. This may serve as a warning to companies that all products from the XUAR may soon be banned in the United States.

Industries at risk for forced labour

Annex 2 of the updated Xinjiang Business Advisory identifies industries in the XUAR that reportedly use forced labour. Any company with potential exposure to or connection with the following industries in the XUAR should evaluate their supply chains as these products may be the subject of future WROs or prohibitions under the UFLPA:

  • agriculture (eg, raw cotton, hami melons, korla pears, tomato products and garlic);
  • cleaning supplies;
  • construction;
  • cotton (this includes cotton yarn, cotton fabric, ginning, spinning mills and cotton products);
  • electronics assembly;
  • extractives (eg, coal, copper, hydrocarbons, oil, uranium and zinc);
  • fake hair, human-hair wigs and hair accessories;
  • food-processing factories;
  • footwear;
  • gloves;
  • hospitality services;
  • metallurgical-grade silicon;
  • mobile phones;
  • noodles;
  • printing products;
  • renewable energy (eg, polysilicon, ingots, wafers, crystalline silicon solar cells and crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic modules);
  • stevia;
  • sugar;
  • textiles (eg, apparel, bedding, carpets, wool and viscose); and
  • toys.

Highest value US imports from Xinjiang in 2021: HTSUS chapter code

Using 2021 XUAR trade data, it is possible to identify other products produced in the region that may be at risk of government action. The highest value groups of products, based on Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) chapter codes, that are imported into the United States from the XUAR have been identified below. While cotton and silica have received the most press, other products such as lamps, chemicals, polymers and plastics, food and furniture account for the highest import value from this region. Companies that import these products should be aware of the risk to their supply chains.

HTSUS chapter heading

HTSUS chapter heading description

HTSUS product category


Lamps, lighting fittings and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included (NESOI), illuminated signs and the similar products with a fixed light source and parts thereof NESOI.

Miscellaneous manufactured articles


Heterocyclic compounds with nitrogen hetero-atom(s) only.

Products of the chemical or allied industries


Oxygen-function amino-compounds.

Products of the chemical or allied industries


Natural polymers and modified natural polymers (including hardened proteins and chemical derivatives of natural rubber), NESOI, in primary forms.

Plastics and articles thereof; rubber and articles thereof


Food preparations NESOI.

Prepared foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes


Furniture, NESOI (other than seats, medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture) and parts thereof.

Miscellaneous manufactured articles


Toys NESOI, scale models and similar products, puzzles, parts and accessories thereof.

Miscellaneous manufactured articles


Microphones and stands therefor, loudspeakers, headphones, earphones and similar products, audio-frequency electric amplifiers, electric sound amplifier sets and parts thereof.

Machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical equipment; parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles


Artificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts thereof and articles made of artificial flowers, foliage or fruit.

Footwear, headgear, umbrellas, sun umbrellas, walking sticks, seat-sticks, whips, riding-crops and parts thereof; prepared feathers and articles made therewith; artificial flowers; articles of human hair


Articles of plastics and articles of polymers and resins of products under 3901-3914, NESOI.

Plastics and articles thereof; rubber and articles thereof

What do these developments mean for US companies?

The recent US government actions demonstrate escalated enforcement against forced labour. These actions may prevent US companies from fulfilling contracts, stocking shelves or obtaining critical manufacturing materials. US companies must act proactively by implementing internal forced labour controls, mapping their supply chains to identify forced labour and taking any necessary steps before further government action puts supply chains at risk. Companies should confirm whether their products are exported from the XUAR.

For further information on this topic please contact Angela Santos or Christine Hintze at Arent Fox LLP by telephone (+1 212 484 3900) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Arent Fox LLP website can be accessed at


(1) For more details please see here.