U.S. Lifts Limit on Its Potassium Exports After Sunfar Rebuts Convict Labor Claims

U.S. Lifts Limit on Its Potassium Exports After Sunfar Rebuts Convict Labor Claims

Tang Shihua

Date: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 17:44 / source:Yicai
U.S. Lifts Limit on Its Potassium Exports After Sunfar Rebuts Convict Labor Claims
U.S. Lifts Limit on Its Potassium Exports After Sunfar Rebuts Convict Labor Claims

(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- Tangshan Sunfar Silicon Industries Co. has refuted allegations it uses convict labor in production, thereby rehabilitating its reputation and regaining the right to export its products to the U.S., the company said yesterday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lifted its import limit order on Feb. 5 that it had slapped on Sunfar, which is based in Tangshan, in North China’s Hebei province. CBP slapped the partial ban on the firm’s exported potassium metal, potassium hydroxide and potassium nitrate on March 29, 2016, citing its purported use of convict labor in production, per the announcement. The convict labor claim deviates materially from the facts, and the company has never produced or exported either potassium metal or potassium nitrate, the announcement averred.

Sunfar engaged global U.S. law firm Baker McKenzie as its counsel and invited Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) and the Beijing branch of Bureau Veritas to conduct supplier ethic trading reviews via investigations onsite and of documentation. The company ultimately successfully cleared its name, per the announcement.

The CBP limit caused revenue from its exports to the U.S. to drop to CNY2 million (USD320,000) and CNY0 in 2016 and 2017 from CNY7.5 million and CNY7 in 2014 and 2015, respectively, the announcement said. Potassium hydroxide exports to the U.S. only made up around 1 percent of the firm’s total revenue in 2014 and 2015, so its operating results are not likely to greatly change short term, it noted.

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Keywords: Chemical Producer, Legal Dispute Resolved, U.S. Costumer, Import Restriction, Trade War, Tangshan Sunfar Silicon Industries