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Volume XII, Number 146

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Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act – Comment Period Open until March 10, 2022

President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) into law on December 23, 2021. (Click here and here for previous articles on this topic.) On January 24, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a “Notice Seeking Public Comments,” soliciting responses to 18 different questions covering implementation, enforcement, and compliance with the UFLPA. Several questions seek information about the issues likely to be most important to U.S. companies that source materials from the People’s Republic of China, including:

  • the types of due diligence, supply chain tracing, and supply chain management measures that importers can use to avoid importing goods from China that are made with forced labor (Question 11);

  • the type of evidence that companies can provide to rebut the presumption of forced labor for goods manufactured or produced in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) (Questions 12, 14);

  • identification of tools that could help companies ensure products imported from China were not produced or manufactured with forced labor and that could help U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) enforce the UFLPA (Questions 10, 13);

  • the need for a common set of supply chain traceability and verification standards (Question 13);

  • the existing government and private sector infrastructure that exists to support any widely endorsed traceability and verification protocol (Question 13); and

  • the measures that can be taken to trace the origin of goods, offer greater supply chain transparency, and identify third-country supply chain routes for goods produced or manufactured with forced labor in China (Question 15).

The full notice can be found here. Comments are due by March 10, 2022. The UFLPA contains other important deadlines for the government as well. By March 23, 2022, the State Department is required to submit a diplomatic strategy to Congress for creating awareness and supporting enforcement of the UFLPA. Companies that wish to comment on the diplomatic strategy may do so in response to Questions 16 and 17.

By June 21, 2022, CBP must begin applying the rebuttable presumption standard, set forth in the UFLPA, to imports entering the United States. The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force must also provide its enforcement strategy report, including the guidance it has for U.S. importers, to Congress on this date as well.

Companies still have time to influence the diplomatic and enforcement strategies and the guidelines for U.S. importers, but they must do so on or before March 10, 2022.

© 2022 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 27
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Michael J. Walsh Government Litigation Lawyer Foley Lardner Law Firm
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Michael J. Walsh, Jr. is a partner and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Based in the firm’s D.C. office, he is a member of the Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.

Prior to joining Foley, Mike served as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Commerce Department, and he also performed the duties of the General Counsel since August 2019. In this role as Chief Legal Officer, Mike oversaw more than 600 attorneys and was responsible for all legal matters within the Department. He also served as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on the most...

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Legal, Business, Jeffery Atkin, Foley Lardner, Environmental Attorney
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Jeffery R. Atkin is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. His areas of practice cover a broad range of business and financial matters, including renewable energy, project finance, private placements, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, real estate development and equipment procurement and leasing. Mr. Atkin is chair of the Solar Energy Team, co-chair of the Energy Industry Team, and a member of the Latin America Practice.

Mr. Atkin’s experience in renewable energy and project finance includes representing developers,...

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Vanessa L. Miller, Foley Lardner, Manufacturing Litigation Lawyer,
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Vanessa L. Miller is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Ms. Miller’s practice focuses on a wide array of bet-the-company litigation, such as general manufacturing breach of contract and warranty disputes, automotive supply chain disputes, product liability lawsuits, trade secret claims, and railroad and rail transloading facility disputes. Ms. Miller also counsels clients on various commercial contract and product liability issues. She is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice.

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David W. Simon, Foley Lardner, Government Matters, FCPA Attorney
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David W. Simon is a litigation attorney who devotes much of his practice to helping corporate clients avoid and manage crises that potentially give rise to government enforcement actions. He provides compliance advice, conducts internal investigations, defends companies against enforcement actions, and represents companies in litigation.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is a principal focus of Mr. Simon’s practice. He also has extensive experience representing clients in antitrust matters and in defending False Claims Act investigations...

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