Calls on the United States government to protect Americans, hold SHEIN accountable for human rights abuses, questionable business practices, and ties to TikTok and the CCP
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- After a slew of reports regarding SHEIN's questionable business practices, human rights abuses, and ties to TikTok and the Chinese Communist Party, a new coalition today announced the launch of "Shut Down SHEIN." This campaign will educate relevant U.S. government officials and the American public to the ways in which SHEIN is alleged to be committing human rights abuses, exploiting import laws to evade billions in tariffs and making its unwitting American consumers accomplices in the process.
SHEIN, a fast-fashion juggernaut founded in China, with significant ties to TikTok and the CCP, has been operating below the radar with no regard for U.S. law or ethical business practices. The company has been accused of horrific working conditions, and their clothing has been linked to cotton picked by slaves in Xinjiang. With their use of Xinjiang cotton, SHEIN is violating Federal Law, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), and making American consumers unknowingly complicit.
SHEIN's questionable and anticompetitive business practices allow it to sell below market products. But SHEIN goes even further by exploiting a tariff loophole designed for U.S. tourists returning home on vacation to evade billions in U.S. tariff payments.
Specifically, SHEIN's policies establish users as importers of record when they create an account, meaning every user is an individual importer. The company itself contends it is not the importer and not responsible for tariffs. As long as a SHEIN order is below $800, it does not trigger reporting requirements to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
As a result, SHEIN is shipping billions of dollars worth of merchandise into America but because each account holder is the "importer of record," SHEIN avoids the tariffs that every other legitimate business must pay. This not only allows SHEIN to evade U.S. tariffs, but also shifts the legal responsibility to prove the products are not produced using slave labor to the U.S. consumer, mostly young American women.
"This is an epic scam on American taxpayers by a Chinese government-controlled company that we believe is likely breaking U.S. and International law," said Chapin Fay, Shut Down SHEIN Executive Director. "By using slave labor, evading U.S. tariffs, and targeting American teenagers, SHEIN is able to charge less for its products and undercut law-abiding businesses. Our coalition, Shut Down SHEIN, is focused on ensuring a level playing field for all companies doing business in America and compliance with federal law and International Law. Shut Down SHEIN will not stop until SHEIN stops using American consumers as accomplices, stops engaging in questionable and anti-competitive business practices and treats their workers with the human dignity and respect they deserve."
This campaign comes on the heels of the U.S. government's renewed scrutiny on SHEIN's close business ally TikTok, with the White House announcing TikTok must sell or face a nationwide ban. Ahead of SHEIN's plans to go public and be listed on a U.S. stock exchange within the year, U.S. officials and the American public must remain vigilant. Shut Down SHEIN is determined to protect American consumers and ensure a level playing field.
For more information on the campaign or to join the coalition, please visit: www.shutdownshein.com
About Shut Down SHEIN
Shut Down SHEIN is a growing coalition of like-minded individuals and businesses committed to increasing the awareness of SHEIN'S dangerous and reprehensible behavior. Existing laws need to be enforced to hold SHEIN accountable for its use of Uyghur materials and forced labor to make its products, its exploitation of American laws by using unwitting minor children all over the nation as "importers," and avoiding billions in tariffs with a business model that disadvantages American businesses and taxpayers. Shut Down SHEIN recognizes that, much like Amazon started with books, SHEIN is using inexpensive apparel advertised on TikTok as a precursor for its expansion into all retail sectors subsidized by billions more in tariffs to crush law abiding American businesses, unless it is stopped now.
SOURCE Shut Down SHEIN