Ad-hoc responses to major developments

Situations are bound to develop where governments feel a need to respond to human rights violations. Lawyers and clients need to be prepared to quickly review their supply chains to ascertain the potential impact of new rules.

One global development instigating this type of action is the persecution of the Uyghur minority in China's Xinjiang province, and use of Uyghur forced labour in the production of goods for export. Events in Xinjiang are of global importance as it is estimated that 20% of the world's cotton originates there.

The US takes a different perspective than Canada and the UK on ad-hoc responses to the situation in Xinjiang:

US prohibits import of certain types of goods from Xinjiang:

The US banned all cotton and tomato products originating in Xinjiang province as a result of human rights abuses. This ban is in place even if an importer could, theoretically, demonstrate the products in question were not produced through forced labour.

Canada and UK prohibit import of goods produced with forced labour from Xinjiang, and introduce an integrity declaration requirement:

Canada and the UK's response does not take a product-specific approach. Instead, they reaffirmed their prohibitions on importing goods produced with forced labour. They also introduced an integrity declaration that businesses need to sign about the use of forced labour in Xinjiang before they can obtain government trade assistance.