Andrew Bailey
Missouri Attorney General
Explore Section

Attorney General Bailey Sounds Alarm on SHEIN Business Practices

Home 9 Press Release 9 Attorney General Bailey Sounds Alarm on SHEIN Business Practices

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined a coalition of 16 states in sounding the alarm on the China-founded, fast-fashion retailer, SHEIN’s business practices – which includes reports of forced labor – and their potential Initial Public Offering (IPO) launch later this year.

“As Attorney General, I have an obligation to ensure the integrity of Missouri’s marketplace for consumers throughout the state,” said Attorney General Bailey. “No foreign business has the right to enter the United States’ markets without complying with our laws. The SEC must audit and verify that SHEIN is following our rules, which includes no use of forced labor in the making of its products.”

In a letter sent to Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, Attorney General Bailey and the other states urge the SEC to require any foreign-owned company to certify via a truly independent process that it is compliant with Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which prohibits the import of any product manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor as a condition of being listed on a U.S. based securities exchange.

The attorneys general point out that SHEIN has been credibly accused of exploiting forced labor and violating the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Testing done by Bloomberg News last year found significant scientific evidence that cotton produced in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region was present in clothing sold by the company.

“American exchanges should have a zero-tolerance policy for foreign companies that seek access to our markets but refuse to follow our laws, especially when the implicated laws are meant to prevent serious human rights abuses,” the attorneys general wrote. “We believe in upholding the rule of law and protecting our economy. Lip service is not enough; in this case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission must ‘trust, but verify’ that every such company is complying before it receives the privilege of being listed on an American securities exchange.”

The attorneys general also highlight SHEIN’s exploitation of trends, which can blur the lines of intellectual property and copyright and avoid customs duties that have contributed to its rapid growth. Additionally, the company collects an enormous amount of data on American consumers, which it uses in complex algorithms to fine-tune its offerings and bring new products to market faster than its competitors.

In addition to General Bailey, the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia joined the letter.

The full letter can be viewed here: