KUALA LUMPUR: The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has enforced a detention order on subsidiaries of the world’s largest medical glove maker Top Glove Corp Bhd, an action intended to halt importation of goods from companies suspected of using forced labour.
The action by customs comes at a time when demand for medical gloves and protective gear has skyrocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the US harder than any other country.
The CBP website showed Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd were placed on its list yesterday but there was no statement explaining the action.
Top Glove, which also has production facilities in China and Thailand, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while a query reached CBP outside its office hours.
Top Glove’s share price was down 2.57% by early afternoon today, but it has risen over 350% this year.
Last year, CBP took similar action against another Malaysian glove maker, WRP Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd. The detention order on imports of WRP’s goods was lifted in March.
World consumption of protective gloves is expected to jump more than 11% to 330 billion pieces this year, two-thirds of which are likely to be supplied by Malaysia, according to the Southeast Asian country’s rubber glove manufacturers association.
Top Glove said in its results briefing last month that it achieved unparalleled growth, boosted by demand increase from almost all countries.
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