National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued the following statement in support of Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s (D-VA) letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, urging his agency to step up isotopic testing of imported products containing cotton sourced from forced labor in Xinjiang, China.
The Congresswoman’s press release and letter can be found here.
Statement by NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas:
“I want to sincerely thank Rep. Wexton for raising critical questions and concerns in her letter to Secretary Mayorkas about why more isotopic testing is not being done to ensure the Department of Homeland Security’s compliance with the UFLPA, which bans tainted cotton products and other consumer goods made with forced labor from entering the U.S. market.
It is alarming that slave labor products from Xinjiang are still bleeding into the U.S. market unchecked, as the Reuters news story exposed, which also served to underscore the weaknesses of our government’s efforts to enforce the law. Congress has already allocated significant resources to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), under the DHS umbrella, for the development, procurement, and application of new technologies such as isotopic testing for cotton fibers and cotton containing products to track the geographic origin of items and inputs from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR—a region that has become synonymous with forced labor practices and human rights abuses.
It is imperative that CBP step up its overall enforcement efforts, which have shockingly been on the decline in the apparel and textile import sector, and significantly increase its isotopic testing as well as the number of contracted labs it uses.
If DHS does not act swiftly, the vital manufacturing sector that I represent, which produces a broad range of components for consumer goods, critical items such as personal protective equipment, and military products, will be further devastated as factories shutter and job losses mount, while China continues to exploit the government’s ineffective enforcement and reap the rewards of its predatory trade practices.”