US Embargo Against Ninestar to Remain in Force for Now

US Embargo Against Ninestar to Remain in Force for Now

US Embargo Against Ninestar to Remain in Force for Now

US Embargo Against Ninestar to Remain in Force for Now Judge Gary Katzman has just made his decision in the United States Court of International Court of International Trade in New York on the matter of the preliminary injunction Ninestar filed against the US government,

The public version of his findings was released on February 29.

Ninestar has a lawsuit in progress at the same time and wanted the courts to issue the preliminary injunction as soon as possible so it could resume its business interests with its many customers in the United States (US) in the short term.

In short, Katzman ruled, “The embargo against Ninestar remains in force.”

There will be a mixture of reactions to this decision. Those wanting China to exit the US market will be cheering and looking for which Chinese company can be next. After all, there is a trade war going on.

Others, including the company’s loyal former customers, will be mystified by the decision believing Ninestar has been wrongfully accused of using “forced labor.”


On June 9, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Ninestar would be added to the UFLPA’s Entity List, which contains those entities determined to be working with the Chinese government to “recruit, transport, transfer, harbor or receive forced labor or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”

Ninestar denied the accusations—and still continues to do so—and has continued to argue that no further explanation accompanied its listing on the Entity List. On this basis, it filed a lawsuit against the DHS and other related parties of the US government on August 22, 2023, after its products were banned from sale in the US. It will continue to pursue its case.

Court Decision

I have read through the February 2024 decision against the preliminary injunction and have found some interesting points:

  1. The document never uses the expression “slave labor,” as some have reported. It never implies that workers are not paid. I have often visited Ninestar’s factories and offices and talked with staff. There are total freedoms for all. I am sure Ninestar will continue to refute the accusation that anyone ever has or is currently working there against their will.
  2. The court ruled that the US government is not required to have a burden of proof, but only requires a “reasonable-cause burden of proof” to take action. The US case admits that the evidence it subsequently presented includes circumstantial evidence it has gleaned from the Chinese government and media reports. Does this now mean the “burden of proof” now falls on Ninestar, considered guilty, to prove it is innocent?
  3. Other reasons for the court’s final decision included Ninestar’s inability to prove irreparable harm from the ban, despite loss of goodwill, damage to reputation, and loss of business opportunities. The court claimed that Ninestar has extensive business interests in other parts of the world.

There are other legal ways Ninestar can pursue its case; however, the International Court has ruled that in the short term, Ninestar cannot resume its trade in the US as it was “unable to succeed on the burden of proof argument” and “failed to establish irreparable harm.”

Maybe this is all geopolitics, and “the weighty public interests defined by the UFLPA” will hold sway regardless of the truth.

In any case, I am sure that Ninestar will not take this lying down and will take the view that “there is still a war to be won.”



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