16 Attorneys general, including Montana, alerting of SHEIN’s business practices

August 28, 2023 – Montana is leading an effort with 15 other states Monday alerting the business practices of fast-fashion retail giant SHEIN.

A letter signed by the 16 attorneys general states SHEIN, founded in China in 2008, is the world’s biggest fashion retailer estimated at a value of $64 billion with its mobile app ranked as the fourth most downloaded in the U.S. The company has recently relocated its headquarters to Singapore.

The attorneys general are calling on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler to require any foreign-owned business to attest it is obeying Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930–which bans the import of products made partially or entirely of forced labor categorized on a U.S. based securities exchange.

A release from Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s office, there are reports of forced labor and the attorney general say in the letter SHEIN is accused of exploiting forced labor and violating the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA).

“American exchanges should have a zero-tolerance policy for foreign companies that seek access to our markets but refuse to follow our laws, especially when the implicated laws are meant to prevent serious human rights abuses,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter. “We believe in upholding the rule of law and protecting our economy. Lip service is not enough; in this case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission must ‘trust, but verify’ that every such company is complying before it receives the privilege of being listed on an American securities exchange.”

In the release from Knudsen’s office, SHEIN claims it is self-financed and managed certification process arguing it is practicing compliance with U.S. law, but Knudsen’s release said self certification is insufficient.

Additionally, SHEIN is accused of exploiting trends–violating intellectual property and copyright and “avoid customs duties which have contributed to its rapid growth.”

SHEIN also garners a large amount of consumer data from its U.S. consumers–using complex algorithms to market new products faster than its competitors.

By Posie Buffington, ABC FOX Montana
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