The U.S. bans imported slave-produced goods

The U.S. bans imported slave-produced goods

Photo by Wikimedia

An 86-year-old ban on imported goods made by slaves and children is on the verge of being enforced as a result of U.S. president Barack Obama signing the bill into law on Wednesday.

The bill, called The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, aims to create conditions for U.S. workers and businesses and it ends the so-called “consumptive demand”, which relates to The Tariff Act of 1930, according to which authorities could not seize shipments suspected of being produced by forced labor if there was not enough supply to meet domestic demands.

After the implementing of the new law, Customs can receive a petition from anyone, from a business to a non-citizen, which shows “reasonably but not conclusively” that the imported goods were produced by forced labor.

The U.S. Department of Labor holds that around 350 products from countries all around the world are now being made by forced labor. These products include garments from Bangladesh, coffee from Colombia, or shrimp from Thailand.

Oregon senator Ron Wyden told The Associated Press earlier this month: “It’s an outrage this loophole persisted for so long. No product made by people held against their will, or by children, should ever be imported to the United States”.

David Abramowitz, vice president of Humanity United, an advocator of this law, said according to ABC News: “If the U.S. government works to really keep out goods made with forced labor, this change will have a profound ripple effect on supply chains worldwide.”

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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.