US bans imports from Malaysian glove maker, suspects forced labor

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The U.S. Customs Agency has banned imports from Malaysian disposable glove maker YTY Industry Holdings Sdn Bhd (YTY Group) over alleged forced labor practices, the seventh such ban imposed on a company Malaysian in two years.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said on Friday it took the action “based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in YTY Group’s manufacturing operations.”

YTY Group did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Saturday.

Malaysian factories, including some of the world’s leading suppliers of palm oil and medical gloves, have come under increased scrutiny over alleged abuse by foreign workers, a significant part of the workforce manufacturing work of the country.

CBP said it identified seven of the International Labor Organization’s 11 indicators of forced labor during its investigation of YTY Group, including intimidation and threats, debt bondage, working and living conditions abusive and excessive overtime.

The agency also determined on Friday that Malaysian palm oil producer Sime Darby -01-28 Plantation Bhd uses forced labor in its operations and that company assets were subject to seizure.

As of Friday, the agency will detain goods made in Malaysia by YTY Group and its units YTY Industry Sdn Bhd, Green Prospect Sdn Bhd and GP Lumut at all US ports of entry.

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