Quantcast
Connect with us

Obama signs bill banning US from importing goods produced by slave labor

Published

on

President Barack Obama (Official White House photo)

President Barack Obama signed a bill on Wednesday barring the import of goods produced by forced labor from entering the United States, throwing the weight of the U.S. market into the fight against global slavery.

Shipments derived from slavery, from fish to electronics and cocoa, will be kept out of the country under the new law that closes a legal loophole that allowed import of goods derived from forced labor if U.S. demand exceeded domestic production, officials said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The measure closing the loophole from the Tariff Act of 1930 was included in a wider trade enforcement bill, which Obama signed into law at the White House in Washington.

“The mere deterrent effect of closing this loophole is a great step forward,” Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told reporters on a conference call. “We’re going to make sure that is heavily noted throughout the world.”

The new law could keep at bay billions of dollars worth of goods produced by forced labor, said Annick Febrey, senior associate at the advocacy group Human Rights First.

“It’s a really big deal,” she said. “While we as a country have said that we are against slavery, we’ve had this little-known rule in the Tariff Act.”

The International Labour Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor globally.

ADVERTISEMENT

The illegal industry is estimated to generate $150 billion in profits per year, the agency has said.

Implementation of earlier U.S. anti-slavery measures faltered due to a need to determine if demand exceeded domestic production, Febrey said.

Enforcement of the new law should benefit from data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which has been listing goods, classified by nation, that are likely made by forced labor, officials said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Only a few countries have laws addressing forced labor goods, including Canada where prison-labor imports are illegal and Australia where financial benefits from forced labor are outlawed, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo, additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe. Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst via the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change.)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

New data shows how Fox News may be keeping Republicans away from voting

Published

on

On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent outlined the results of a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, suggesting Fox News' messaging is actually turning people off one of the easiest and most convenient forms of voting — putting President Donald Trump's re-election in jeopardy.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Trump ‘engaged in incitement to domestic terrorism’ — no wonder he’s losing Michigan: Heilemann

Published

on

What will Trump do between now and Election Day, and what is he willing to do if he loses on Election Day, asked MSNBC's John Heilemann when talking to host Nicolle Wallace on Monday.

Wallace noted that on Sunday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on "60 Minutes," where he explained he couldn't even take a walk with his wife without having security because of the attacks he's getting from the right-wing.

"Genuinely, as we hurdle into the final two weeks where we think that all of the October surprises have to be played out -- we've had them all," Heilemann began. "But given the way 2020 has gone, I'm assuming we'll have at least maybe a Martian invasion between now and election day. I think -- it never hurts to remind people of the context here."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Steve Mnuchin extends his overseas trip — despite failing to reach a deal on coronavirus stimulus

Published

on

Raw Story reported on Oct. 16 that U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin left the United States after repeatedly failing to reach a stimulus agreement with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Now, it appears Mnuchin has extended his trip to the Middle East by an extra day. The media has not been given any information on his whereabouts or with whom the meetings are taking place.

Mnuchin was expected to travel to Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates from Oct. 17 through Oct. 20. Negotiations were expected to resume upon his return to the U.S. on Oct. 20.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE