A new coalition has been launched to "Shut Down Shein." This campaign aims to educate relevant US 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.
- The campaign comes on the heels of the US government's scrutiny on Shein's close business ally TikTok, with the White House announcing that TikTok must sell or face a nationwide ban.
- Ahead of Shein's plans to go public and be listed on a US stock exchange within the year, US officials and the American public must remain vigilant, the coalition is arguing.
- 'Shut Down Shein' wants to "protect American consumers" and ensure a level-playing field.
- 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 US tourists returning home on vacation to evade billions in US tariff payments.
- 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 US 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 US tariffs, but also shifts the legal responsibility to prove the products are not produced using slave labour to US consumer, mostly young American women.
The Coalition: The Shut Down Shein coalition comprises “like-minded” individuals and businesses committed to increasing the awareness of Shein's “dangerous and reprehensible” behaviour.
- Existing laws need to be enforced to hold Shein accountable for “its use of Uyghur materials and forced labour” to make its products, its exploitation of American laws by using unwitting minor children all over the US as importers, and avoiding billions in tariffs with a business model that “disadvantages” American businesses and taxpayers.
- The coalition believes 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.
What They Said:
This is an epic scam on American taxpayers by a Chinese government-controlled company that we believe is likely breaking US and International law. By using slave labour, evading US 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.
— Chapin Fay
Shut Down Shein