The U.S. photovoltaic (PV) industry, solar module suppliers, manufacturers, and renewable energy developers are facing new regulatory challenges with the implementation of new legislation which has a significant impact on such imports. Among the most significant is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 117-78, 135 Stat. 1525 (2021) (“UFLPA”), whose provisions became fully effective on June 21, 2022.
If your company is like many, your board of directors may be demanding that you put more effort into environmental, social, and governance issues, which have become known by the now-ubiquitous acronym “ESG.” Those demands don’t come from nowhere: consumers are demanding transparency and social responsibility. In particular, if your company does business internationally, regulators are focused on international social justice issues (such as the use of forced labor) more than ever.
Continue Reading Does Your Trade Policy Support Your Company’s Values?
Companies are putting forth more effort, thought, commitment, and resources into environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations across their business lines. The focus of ESG has primarily centered around climate change and sustainability, but the “S” in ESG is becoming increasingly important to consumers and other stakeholders. As global corporate citizens become more vocal about asserting their identity and values, it is critical to think about how their global trade and compliance policies and supply chains reflect those values. Issues like forced labor in the supply chain, third party diligence, and how to build an ethical culture are part and parcel of a strong compliance program. But these issues also present opportunities for companies to reflect their values in a fundamental way and speak to what consumers are demanding with their dollars.
Continue Reading ESG, Global Trade, and Forced Labor: Aligning Compliance with Company Values
This is the second of three articles on the Solar Industry and Forced Labor. Here we focus on interactions with solar module suppliers. Our first article in the series focused on regulations in this area, and our next will focus on investors and their requirements.
Continue Reading Clean Energy’s Messy Problem II: The Solar Industry, I͟t͟s͟ S͟u͟p͟p͟l͟i͟e͟r͟s, and the Complex Task of Combatting Forced Labor
This is the first of three articles on the Solar Industry and Forced Labor. Here we focus on regulation. Articles in the coming weeks will focus on issues facing importers and their suppliers, and on investors and their requirements.
Continue Reading Clean Energy’s Messy Problem: The Solar Industry, the U.S. Government, and the Complex Task of Combatting Forced Labor
- U.S. Customs halts the import of silica-based products from made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. because the products are suspected of being produced using forced labor.
- For future imports of solar energy equipment sourced from Xinjiang, China, the United States may use Withhold Release Orders (WROs) to block entry into the United States if there is reasonable suspicion of forced labor in the supply chain.
- The renewables industry is working together and with regulators to find ways to certify its supply chains are free of forced labor.
- New law could penalize companies for complying with U.S. sanctions.
- Penalties include designation to China’s new “Unreliable Entity” list.
- Statements against the new laws could also be penalized, restricting the capacity of counsel to advise freely on compliance with U.S. sanctions and Chinese countermeasures.
On June 10, 2021, China enacted the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (“AFSL”), aimed at punishing countries that impose anti-China sanctions and the companies that comply with those sanctions. The law is effective immediately, and applies to any sanctions imposed against China, Chinese entities, or Chinese individuals by any third country (excluding sanctions adopted by the United Nations).
The AFSL comes in addition to the Measures on Blocking Unjustified Extraterritorial Application of Foreign Legislation (the Blocking measures) issued earlier this year. Those measures were mainly address the extraterritorial effect of U.S. sanctions against China, by punishing companies that comply with U.S. sanctions.
Continue Reading Counterpunch: China Adopts Landmark Anti-Sanctions Statute to Stop U.S. Sanctions Effects Overseas
The United States is taking increasingly aggressive actions to prohibit imports from China that may have been produced by forced labor. According to the U.S.
Continue Reading Forced Labor and Supply Chains: A Complete Ban on Goods from Xinjiang or Additional WROs on the Horizon?
On December 2, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued an order preventing certain imported cotton products from China from being released to the importer. The products were made by Xinjian Production and Construction Corp. (XPCC). The order is based on information that indicates the use of forced labor in the production of the goods. …
Continue Reading Cotton a Jam: CBP Withholds Cotton Product Shipments Under Forced Labor Rules