U.S Customs slaps WRO on Supermax Corp’s disposable glove products

By PRIYA VASU / Pic by TMR FILE PIX

Disposable gloves produced by Supermax Corporation Bhd’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd., Maxwell Glove Manufacturing Bhd., and Supermax Glove Manufacturing, will be detained from entry in all United States ports effective today.

The U.S Customs and Border Protection said in a statement it issued this Withhold Release Order (WRO), against Supermax Corporation Bhd and its subsidiaries based on information that reasonably indicates their use of forced labor in manufacturing operations.

CBP Office of Trade Executive Assistant Commissioner AnnMarie R. Highsmith said with 10 of the 11 forced labor indicators identified during the course of investigation, CBP has ample evidence to conclude that Supermax Corporation Bhd. and its subsidiaries produce gloves in violation of U.S. trade law.

“Until Supermax and its subsidiaries can prove their manufacturing processes are free of forced labor, their goods are not welcome here,” she added.

In Fiscal Year 2021, CBP issued seven WROs and two forced labor findings.

The International Labour Organization estimates that 25 million workers suffer under conditions of forced labor worldwide.

“Foreign companies exploit forced labor to sell goods below market value.

This exposes vulnerable populations to inhumane working conditions like physical and sexual violence, isolation, restriction of movement, withholding of wages, excessive overtime, and more. It also hurts law-abiding businesses, threatens American jobs, and exposes consumers to unwittingly supporting unethical business practices,” sais WRO.

Supermax shares opened flat at RM2.25 and fell 7.6% at press time to RM2.08

The stock has declined 72% in the past one year.

CPB in September 2021 lifted a year-long ban imposed on Top Glove Corp Bhd for alleged forced labour found at the world’s largest medical glove maker.

It banned gloves made by Top Glove in July 2020, saying it had found abuses of migrant workers.

“Top Glove’s actions in response to the WRO which include issuing more than $30 million in remediation payments to workers and improving labor and living conditions at the company’s facilities, suggest that CBP’s enforcement efforts provide a strong economic incentive for entities to eliminate forced labor from their supply chains” said CPB on Sep t 92021.

On March 29, 2021, CBP published a Finding in the Customs Bulletin and the Federal Register against disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by Top Glove.

CBP personnel were instructed to begin seizing shipments of those gloves due to information indicating that Top Glove used forced labor to produce them.