A group of lawmakers are putting pressure on US Customs over the importation of goods from China’s Xinjiang region, questioning how it is applying tough new restrictions that have forced many companies to re-examine their supply chains.
More than two dozen Republican members of the House of Representatives want US Customs and Border Protection to answer questions about its enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, a law that went into effect in June that is meant to stem the import of goods linked to Uyghur forced labor.
The lawmakers posed their inquiries in a letter sent Thursday to an official in US Customs and the director of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which handles sanctions.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, of which Customs is a part, said that the department has taken “swift and unprecedented action” to enforce the act. A Treasury representative declined to comment.
The public letter underscores the continuing scrutiny that Congress has put on the customs agency’s enforcement of the UFLPA.
The Xinjiang region is an important supplier of a variety of goods—including cotton, tomatoes and solar panel materials—and the UFLPA has opened up companies to heightened legal and reputational risk. Companies have said the law could interrupt shipments and raise compliance costs, and many have taken steps to either reorganize or scrutinize their supply chains.
Some US multinationals, such as Intel Corp.