Automakers might have to shift supply chains as US Customs officials increasingly detain metal imports from companies suspected of using forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China.
The US government and the United Nations Human Rights Office, along with several nongovernmental organizations, have alleged that the Chinese government is forcing the Indigenous Uyghur population to work in industrial parks in Xinjiang. The US enacted the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) in December 2021, ordering US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to block shipments linked to Xinjiang unless importers can prove goods were not made with forced labor.
Beijing has consistently denied reports of human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The UFLPA initially focused on imports of cotton and tomatoes, as well as polysilicon used in solar panels, but an update released July 26 said the CBP would also monitor "potential risk areas" including aluminum, steel, copper, lithium-ion batteries and automobile parts.