Sports & Fitness Industry Association Applauds Initiation of New Forced Labor Law

WASHINGTON, DC (June 28, 2022) – The use of forced labor in consumer goods is unacceptable, and the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) is proud to have supported the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) prior to its enactment. SFIA applauds the initiation of Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) seizures of imports shown to use forced labor in the supply chain.

“There is no tolerance of forced labor in supply chains for sports and fitness products,” said Tom Cove, President & CEO, SFIA. “This is an important step in the fight to end the use of forced labor in the manufacturing of products and their inputs.”  

In response to the use of forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, Congress passed the UFLPA and the President signed it into law on December 21, 2021. The new law went into effect on June 21, 2022, to allow time for manufacturers to ensure their products did not have forced labor in the supply chains. CBP will seize imports shown to have violated the new law, and the importer must prove that no forced labor was used in the production of the good or any of its inputs.

SFIA members have taken internal steps to root out forced labor in their supply chains and remain dedicated to ending the use of forced labor. Our members look forward to providing consumers with fair labor, active lifestyle products for improved health, and better quality of life.

“Of course, the current challenges facing our national economy could create headwinds,” Cove added. “The global supply chain is not yet fixed, and we are monitoring how inflation may affect consumer behavior in the future.”

For questions on the new forced labor law, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

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ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit sfia.org.

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2022) – Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Act in December, and President Biden signed it into law right before Christmas. Importers were given six months to review supply chains and adjust to comply with the new law – banning products made with forced labor or containing inputs from forced labor.

CBP provided guidance last week on the enforcement of the new law, but for many importers, the new rules create challenges in getting products to market due to the difficulty in determining the source of all inputs.

This recent article in the Seattle Times lays out the situation and impact on consumers and offers some insight into industry actions as a result of the new law.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2022) – In the past two weeks, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced initiatives to help with supply chains and the President signed the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA), to update U.S. ocean shipping policies; the first major overhaul of U.S. shipping laws in 24 years. While neither action will resolve the supply chain/shipping issues faced by importers quickly or completely, combined, they will help protect against supply chain disruptions in the future and provide greater transparency on shipper pricing and policies.   

The Federal Maritime Commission adopted a trio of initiatives the Commission will pursue to facilitate the movement of commerce:

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act gives the FMC additional resources to execute its mission through:

The FMC is confident the new authority, additional compliance enforcement, and greater transparency will help facilitate the free flow of commerce in the future.  While this will help supply chains once products are on the water, the issues surrounding COVID in China continue to disrupt commerce and the U.S. has little recourse for supply chains in China during COVID lockdowns.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

SILVER SPRING, MD (June 16, 2022) – In response to the use of forced labor, especially in the Xianjing province of China, Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) to block the importation of consumer goods made with or containing inputs produced with Forced Labor. In recognition of the challenges in identifying the source of every input, Congress set a June 21 implementation date to give importers six months to prepare – but CBP offered no guidance until now.  On June 15, six days before implantation of new Forced Labor laws, CBP issued Operational Guidance on the Act for importers.   

The Operational Guidance includes:   

The full CBP guidance on the enforcement of UFLPA can be found here.

SFIA thanks Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg for their contributions to this article.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

In response to the use of forced labor in China, Congress passed the ‘Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act’ in December 2021.  The bill gives Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to hold shipments of products suspected of being produced with forced labor or containing components made with forced labor. The new law shifts the burden of proof to the manufacturer, who must show the product does not violate the ban on the use of forced labor. 

The U.S. imports an estimated $63 billion in apparel, fabrics, sporting goods, and toys from China annually. Unfortunately, the CBP has not provided much guidance to date, but plans to publish its implementation strategy on June 21, 2022, the same day the law goes into effect. Please find more information in this Bloomberg article.

SFIA fully supports the new laws to limit the use of forced labor in the manufacturing of consumer goods. For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

Washington, D.C.: June 1, 2022 – In response to the SEC’s proposed major overhaul of 2010 climate disclosure rules, ASTM has developed standards aligned with the new reporting requirements. The ASTM Standards focus on five areas

  1. Disclosure of Environmental Liability
  2. Climate Change
  3. Recognition/Derecognition of Environmental Liabilities
  4. Environmental Knowledge Management
  5. Estimating Monetary Cost for Liabilities

The goal in aligning ASTM standards with the new SEC requirements is to help small and medium-sized businesses understand their responsibility in the reporting process.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

Washington, D.C.: May 16, 2022 – Today, the commissioners of the four major U.S. sports leagues, NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders asking them to help families with youth activity costs by passing the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. PHIT would lower the cost of family activity by 25-37% by allowing consumers to use pre-tax funds to pay for them.

COVID shut down youth sports, and kids’ mental health has suffered. Sports are returning, but families are now faced with high inflation – creating financial challenges. Youth sports are not free and PHIT will lower the cost barrier to healthy kids’ activities. The NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA recognize the importance of youth sports to a child’s physical & mental health and want Congress to pass PHIT to help families keep kids on fields, courts, and rinks to improve children’s health.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

Washington D.C. May 3, 2022 – The Sports & Fitness Industry Association sent a letter to Senate leaders yesterday requesting the inclusion of a new, transparent exclusion process for Section 301 tariffs on products made in China. Moody’s estimates that only 7.6% of the tariff costs were absorbed by China with ‘the rest of the tab picked up by Americans’.

SFIA joined more than 200 organizations in pushing the Senate to retain language that re-opens a more transparent exclusion process in the final version of trade legislation currently being negotiated with the House. The House trade bill did not include China Exclusions for tariff relief.

Congress is aiming to vote on a Trade Bill this month, and SFIA is pushing for tariff relief via renewal of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), the Reauthorization of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and the re-opening of the China Exclusion process. In total, these three moves would offer SFIA members 100s of millions of dollars in tariff relief annually.

For more information, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

April 27, 2022 – In advance of Congress completing work on trade legislation next month, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) joined more than 200 companies and industry organizations on an April 26th letter to Congressional Leaders. The letter presses for the inclusion of a robust Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) in the trade legislation currently being negotiated. SFIA had 84 petitions approved for the MTB with a potential $42 million in tariff relief on industry products.

The letter points out that manufacturers have paid more than $500 million in tariffs since the MTB lapsed, and requests full retroactivity of tariff relief back to the December 31, 2020 lapse date. Passage of the MTB with full retroactivity would lead to more than $1.5 billion in tariff relief for 2021-2023. Congress is scheduled to take up trade legislation next month.

For more information on the MTB and other tariff relief, please contact Bill Sells, SVP Government Relations & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

With the Shanghai lockdown currently impacting supply chains in China, the ripple effect will be felt across the globe in the future. To help address shipping challenges, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) joined forces with a broad spectrum of industries to request that Congress move quickly to improve and complete work on a final version of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) for greater stability and predictability in shipping policies and supply chains.

Of primary concern are:

SFIA has signed on to a letter to Congress requesting swift action on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) to help address problems identified during the COVID supply chain crisis. Click here for a copy of the letter.

For more information please contact Bill Sells, SVP of Government & Public Affairs, at [email protected].

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