Top Glove talking to US Customs to resolve sanction issue, says Azmin

Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali says on a previous occasion, once the explanation was given to the US administration, they had lifted the ban on the gloves and allowed the goods to enter the US. (Bloomberg pic)

MELAKA: The world’s biggest rubber glove manufacturer, Top Glove Corp Bhd, is working to address the detention order imposed by the US Customs on imports from two of its subsidiaries to ensure undisrupted supply of rubber gloves supply amid the global Covid-19 crisis.

Senior Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the company is currently engaging with US authorities after the US Customs placed Top Glove Sdn Bhd and TG Medical Sdn Bhd on its “Withhold Release Order” list — a move taken against firms suspected of using forced labour.

Azmin, who is also international trade and industry minister, said the ministry hopes that the US administration would be able to assess the issue involving the foreign workers fairly.

“I have been informed that the company is currently engaging with the US Customs to address the assumptions and allegations levelled against it.

“This has happened before, and once the explanation was given to the US administration, they had lifted the ban and allowed the goods to enter the US,” he told reporters here today.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Thursday, Top Glove said there was a possibility that the US sanction might be related to foreign labour issues, which the company had already resolved except for an issue regarding retrospective payment of recruitment fees by its workers to agents prior to January 2019 without the company’s knowledge.

Mohamed Azmin Ali.

However, the company said it had already borne all recruitment fees since January 2019 when its “Zero Recruitment Fee Policy” was implemented.

Meanwhile, Azmin said the government expected the manufacturing of rubber gloves and other medical products in the country to continue undisrupted post-Covid-19 to meet the high global demand.

Earlier, the minister had visited two factories, Dominant Opto Technologies Sdn Bhd and Texas Instruments Electronics Sdn Bhd, at the Batu Berendam Free Trade Zone, accompanied by Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Lim Ban Hong.

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