The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) last week banning the importation of all Turkmenistan cotton or products produced in whole or in part with Turkmenistan cotton. Following the ban, retailers and brands will now have to act quickly to identify and eliminate Turkmen cotton from their supply chains.
The CBP detention (WRO) order is for “all Turkmenistan cotton or products produced in whole or in part with Turkmenistan cotton,” according to CBP website.
While the CBP has not given any reason for the ban, three organisations had petitioned to the CBP in 2016, urging it to ban import of all goods made using Turkmen cotton, as it is produced with forced labour. The three organisations are the US Cotton Campaign, Alternative Turkmenistan News, and International Labor Rights Forum, according to Central Asian media reports.
The three groups had said that the Turkmen government forces public sector employees to pick cotton.