American solar energy companies are reportedly having difficulty complying with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), a law that went into effect in June requiring importers to prove their goods are not tainted with slave labor from the oppressed Uyghur Muslims of China’s Xinjiang province.
The UFLPA sets tough standards for importers to affirmatively demonstrate that no forced labor was employed in harvesting raw materials or assembling finished products. Everything imported from Xinjiang is presumed tainted unless proof to the contrary is provided.
The industry that seemed most likely to have trouble complying with the UFLPA was textiles, since a great deal of China’s – and, by extension, the world’s – cotton is produced in Xinjiang, and the supply chains for cotton blends in textiles are often murky.
According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on Tuesday, the solar industry is running into trouble as well, with several shipments detailed or outright refused by U.S. customs since the UFLPA took effect.