The prevention of forced labor in the global supply chain has been elevated in visibility and consequence over the last several years. In 2022, the emphasis focused largely, though not exclusively, on trade remedies. The United States enacted the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, the European Union proposed a ban on imports made with forced labor, and the United Kingdom proposed updates to the Modern Slavery Act. Outside of trade, litigation alleging claims of misrepresentation is pending in the US courts, and in the EU there are multiple investigations into allegations of forced labor in the fashion retail supply chain.
Allegations of forced labor are not confined to China’s Xinjiang province—the focus of US legislation—but much of the recent attention has been directed toward China. China denies the allegations of forced labor and vows to respond, using the legislative tools it has developed in the last several years.
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