US lifts ban on Malaysian glove maker


KUALA LUMPUR: The United States has lifted a ban on a Malaysian medical glove maker it accused of using forced labour, a government statement showed, amid a surge in demand for personal protective equipment to fight the coronavirus crisis.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Tuesday said in a statement on its website (https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/national-media-release/cbp-revokes-withhold-release-order-disposable-rubber-gloves) that disposable rubber gloves made by WRP Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd would be admissible in all US ports of entry after March 16.

The ban placed on WRP last September “was revoked based on recent information obtained by CBP showing the company is no longer producing the rubber gloves under forced labour conditions”.

“We are very pleased that this effort successfully mitigated a significant supply chain risk and resulted in better working conditions and more compliant trade,” said Brenda Smith, CBP’s executive assistant commissioner for the office of trade.

WRP, which has the capacity to produce more than 11 billion gloves a year, could not immediately be contacted for comment.

Malaysia is the world’s biggest producer of medical gloves. The gloves are in huge demand because of the spread of the virus that has infected more than 377,000 people across 194 countries with more than 16,500 deaths.

The United States is the world’s biggest consumer of medical gloves per person. — Reuters

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