The Trump administration announced Tuesday that border agents will detain any merchandise imports made by companies that utilize prison labor in China.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said all clothing items manufactured by the Hero Vast Group and its subsidiaries will be seized based on information it says "reasonably indicated the use of prison labor in the production of those garments."
"China's use of forced labor to make goods is illegal and wrong. Their serious human rights abuses cannot stand. DHS remains committed to using every tool available to identify and prevent products made with forced labor from entering the United States," said Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Goods produced by Hero Vast Group will be seized at all United States ports of entry, in accordance with a federal law that forbids importing products manufactured by forced convict, child, or indentured labor.
"The use of forced labor is not just a serious human rights issue, but it also brings about unfair competition in our global supply chains," Brenda Smith, an executive assistant commissioner at CBP, emphasized. "CBP's goal is to ensure that goods made by forced labor never reach U.S. consumers."
According to a 2019 investigation, at least 681 China-backed businesses have been linked to prison labor. Thirty-five orders of detainment have been issued against China-based companies since 1991.