Malaysia’s Supermax to spend $350 million for first U.S. facility amid import ban

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FILE PHOTO: Workers collect rubber gloves at Top Glove's factory in Klang

KUALA LUMPUR -Malaysian glove maker Supermax Corp said on Friday it would invest $350 million to start building its first manufacturing facility in the United States, despite an ongoing ban against its imports into the country.

In October, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) barred Supermax’s imports over alleged forced labour practices, making it the fifth Malaysian firm to face such a ban in the past 18 months.

Supermax said it was in contact with CBP to obtain more clarity, adding that it will speed up a process it had begun in 2019 to meet the International Labour Organisation’s standards.

The new facility will help Supermax cater to at least 10% to 15% of the total annual medical glove imports into the United States over the next two to four years and 20% to 25% of U.S. demand over the next four to six years, it said in a statement.

The United States accounts for about 20% of Supermax’s total sales.

The facility will be built by its U.S.-based unit, Maxter Healthcare Inc, on 215 acres in Texas.

Maxter will build the facility in four phases, with each expected to produce 400 million gloves per month, giving the plant an annual production capacity of 19.2 billion pieces of gloves. The first phase will begin production in the last quarter of 2022.

Last month, Canada’s Public Services and Procurement department said it was holding Supermax deliveries as it awaits an audit report from the company.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Devika Syamnath)