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John M. Foote

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Overview On July 20, 2020, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced the Slave-Free Business Certification Act (“the Act”). If passed, the Act would require every “covered business entity” — defined as any issuer under section 2(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 that has annual, world-wide gross receipts of $500 million — to audit and report on instances of forced labor in their supply chains. Companies that deliberately violate the Act could be liable…

Note that this post originally appeared on Baker McKenzie’s Sanctions and Export Controls Update blog. On July 1, 2020, the US Department of State, jointly with the US Department of Treasury, the US Department of Commerce, and the US Department of Homeland Security, issued an advisory (the “Advisory”) to caution US businesses about the risks of supply chain links to entities that allegedly engage in human rights abuses including the forced labor of Uyghurs, ethnic…

On March 11, 2020, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (“CECC”) announced new proposed legislation, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, to establish a rebuttable presumption that all labor occurring in Xinjiang, China, or by persons anywhere in China who are involved with the “re-education through labor” program targeting Chinese Turkic Muslims constitutes forced labor within the meaning of the U.S. forced labor import ban, 19 U.S.C. § 1307. The proposed act would also impose sanctions,…

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is continuing to step up its enforcement of the U.S. import ban on goods made, wholly or in part, with forced labor (19 U.S.C. § 1307). Senior CBP leadership has recently confirmed that it is examining goods and commodities originating in Xinjiang, China, for potential enforcement activity. Separately, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) implementing bill, which was signed into law by President Trump on January 29, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-113), contains…