Recent Initiatives by the U.S. Government to Combat Forced Labor Practices
9 AM GMT
In-Person event at:
1500 K St NW
Teleconference option available!
According to the International Labor Organization, forced labor, including human trafficking, in the private economy accounts for $150 billion in illegal profits each year, and the Department of State’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report placed a “special emphasis on trafficking in the global marketplace.” Recently, the U.S. has undertaken efforts through both domestic law and the global platform under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) to address this issue. U.S. law (Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930) prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, produced or manufactured in whole or in part, by forced labor. In February 2016, Congress eliminated an exception to the import ban that many deemed an unacceptable loophole. Since then, there has been a significant increase in instances of enforcement of this law, with the detention of Chinese imports from the specialty chemicals industry and the food and beverage industry. U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) also established a Taskforce to identify potential violations, and is actively soliciting tips from the public and is revising its regulations to correspond with the change. On the global front, the U.S.-led TPP would require all signatory parties to eliminate forced labor practices and to discourage the importation of goods produced in whole or in part by forced labor. This program will bring together U.S. Government officials, businesses, and other organizations potentially impacted by the revised law to discuss the heightened interest in Section 307, what steps are being taken in response, including enhanced supply chain traceability and accountability, and what revisions are necessary to the existing CBP regulations to ensure a transparent decision-making process in response to allegations that supply chains for imported merchandise include forced labor.
- Alice Kipel, Executive Director, Rulings & Regulations, US Customs and Border Protection
- Jason Kearns, Chief International Trade Counsel, House Committee on Ways and Means
- Eric Gottwald, Legal and Policy Director, International Labor Rights Forum
- Carlos Busquets, Director of Public Policy, Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition
- Brenda Jacobs, Sidley Austin
- Sahar Hafeez, Stewart and Stewart