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CBP Collects $575,000 In Penalties From Importer Of ‘Forced Labor Products’ From China



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U.S. Customs and Border Protection has collected $575,000 in penalties from Pure Circle U.S.A., Inc., a company that imported ‘forced labor products’ from China, according to a press release

 “As part of its trade enforcement responsibilities, CBP will hold companies accountable for importing goods produced with forced labor,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade.

“Companies have a responsibility to proactively monitor their supply chains to mitigate the risk of importing goods into the United States that were produced with forced labor.”

Pure Circle imported stevia produced in China by Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agricultural and Trade LLC, according to CBP. CBP began investigating the imports after it was alerted by a nongovernmental organization to its alleged inhumane activities. Later, CBP issued a Withhold Release Order on those products.

CBP has issued eleven WROs since September 2019, four of which targeted products from China.

CBP’s investigation found that Pure Circle U.S.A., Inc. imported about 20 shipments of products “that were processed in China with prison labor.” A penalty was then issued against Pure Circle. However, the products had already made their way into the U.S. before CBP found evidence of forced labor.

Many of the seizures of Chinese forced labor goods have raised concerns about China’s human rights abuses against minority populations, including Uighurs, a Turkic-ethnic minority, they’ve imprisoned in “reeducation camps” and exploited for labor. Further, China has made many attempts to stop Uighur population growth by forcing women to have abortions and forcing sterilization.

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Beijing Olympics lowers COVID testing standards, otherwise, there would be no Olympics




How convenient when a bureaucratic body has the power to switch COVID standards at the drop of a hat in order to allow it to continue moving forward and not shut down as the rest of us have been forced to do. COVID Standards around testing and quarantine rules are going from asinine and impossible to achieve to almost gone in the blink of an eye. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week he was doing away with all COVID precautions from vaccine mandates to mask wearing, and instead, would rely on the judgement of its citizens to protect themselves.

Now, the Beijing Olympics organizers and Chinese authorities are lowering the threshold for athletes to participate in the upcoming games. Likely, they realize that just like all other aspects of the world, the mandates and expectations are shutting down businesses and industries left and right.

Specifically, China has lowered the threshold for producing a negative COVID-19 test for participants as they arrive for the Winter Games which will begin next week on February 4th. In a statement, organizers said:

“In order to adapt to the reality of the current environment and further support of Games participants, Beijing 2022 and the Chinese authorities, in consultation with medical experts and IOC, refined countermeasures with the following changes effective 23 January 2022.”

The concern was that athletes could test negative in their home countries after recovering from COVID-19 but still test positive upon their arrival in China, reported the Wall Street Journal. That’s because their testing standards were “tougher than those used by many sports leagues in the U.S. and Europe.”

The CBC reports the communication was sent out by Beijing 2022 on Sunday explaining it was dropping the cycle threshold (Ct) value from 40 to 35. Anyone with a PCR result of less than 35 will be considered positive. The higher the Ct value, the less infectious a person with COVID-19 is. The CBC also reports:

Further changes include that if a positive participant spends 10 days or more in isolation, then that person will be released to their Games time accommodation if they are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms and if their PCR results have a Ct value greater than or equal to 35 for the past three consecutive days.

Another change is reducing the time in which a person is deemed a close contact, dropping from two weeks to seven days.

“During that period, testing will be carried out twice daily. The close contact will be able to choose whether their PCR test sample is collected as a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab,” the communication explained.

All of these changes will be applied immediately and will also apply retrospectively.

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