US bars disposable gloves from Malaysia over forced labor

Business

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government ordered a halt Wednesday to imports of disposable gloves from a Malaysian company and its subsidiaries after determining they rely on forced labor.

Customs and Border Protection issued an order to stop any inbound shipments from Supermax Corporation Berhad and three subsidiaries.

CBP said its investigation of the company found 10 indications of forced labor, which typically include such things as intimidation, threats and withholding of wages, under international standards.

The agency identified the subsidiaries as Maxter Glove Manufacturing, Maxwell Glove Manufacturing and Supermax Glove Manufacturing.

“Until the manufacturers can prove their manufacturing processes are free of forced labor, their goods are not welcome here,” AnnMarie Highsmith, executive assistant commissioner of the Office of Trade, said in announcing the order.

Malaysian rubber glove makers have come under scrutiny over abusive practices, and the U.S. this year downgraded Malaysia to the worst level in an annual report on human trafficking. In response, Malaysia’s government pledged to take steps to eliminate forced labor.

The U.S. lifted a similar order against another Malaysian glove manufacturer, Top Glove Corporation Berhad, after the company addressed indicators of forced labor at its manufacturing facilities.

Supermax Corporation, which says it sells its products in 165 countries, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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