Shares of Top Glove Corporation Berhad, a leading Malaysian rubber glove maker, have reportedly seen a sharp fall in the stock market after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued notices across all U.S. ports to seize shipments of Top Glove disposable gloves. The notices of seizure were issued after it discovered evidence that the Malaysian manufacturer was using forced labor to make its products.
According to reports, company shares fell as much as 5%, to their lowest level since back in March 3rd, witnessing their second straight day of losses. Top Glove stocks are down as much as 21% this year, which is among the most prominent declines on the benchmark stock gauge of Malaysia.
The U.S. CBP Office of Trade, in a joint statement with the U.S. Treasury Department, stated that it has imposed penalties against the largest glove manufacturer in the world after it discovered ‘adequate information that led it to believe that the glove-maker uses forced labor to manufacture disposable gloves’.
Supposedly, the seizure order effectively expands a directive that was rolled out last year, which banned glove imports from two Top Glove units.
Mr. Troy Miller, a senior official taking over the CBP Commissioner duties, stated that the forced-labor findings are an outcome of a strenuous, months-long investigation conducted by the CBP that looked to prevent goods produced using modern slavery from making their way into the U.S. commerce.
Mr. Miller stated that the CBP would not tolerate any instances of foreign enterprises exploiting vulnerable workers to profit from their labor and sell unethically-made, cheap goods to consumers across America.
Top Glove, on its part, has released an official statement stating that the company’s U.S. counsels have been liaising with U.S. CBP representatives to obtain more information and clarity on the situation. Currently, the company is unable to ascertain the overall quantum on operational and financial impacts that may arise from the order.