U.S. lifts import ban on Malaysia's Top Glove over forced labour concerns
10 September 2021
The United States on Friday allowed imports from Malaysia's Top Glove Corp (TPGC.KL), after customs authorities lifted a year-long ban imposed for alleged forced labour found at the world's largest medical glove maker.
In a statement, the CBP said it will now allow imports after a thorough review of evidence that showed Top Glove has addressed all indicators of forced labour.
Top Glove had said earlier its disposable gloves would be admissible at all U.S. ports as of Sept. 10.
The CBP had prohibited imports of Top Glove products citing evidence of forced labour practices at the company, including debt bondage, excessive overtime, abusive working and living conditions, and retention of identity documents.
While Top Glove said in April it had resolved all forced labour indicators, U.S. Customs had two of the company's shipments seized in May.
Rights activist Andy Hall, who had urged the CBP to investigate Top Glove, said he welcomed the decision to lift the ban "in light of the considerable improvements in foreign workers living and working conditions" at Top Glove.
Top Glove has upgraded hostel facilities for its migrant workers, who account for a majority of its factory workforce, and promised to compensate them for the fee they paid to employment agents in their home countries.
The fees result in debt bondage, labour activists say.