Report alleges that China continues to use forced prison labour to produce exports to the US, in violation of US law and trade agreements

A staff research report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission alleges that China maintains a network of prison labour facilities that use forced labour to produce goods intended for export – a violation of US-China trade agreements and US law. The report recommends federal legislation mandating not only disclosure of corporate anti-force labour efforts, but also taking steps to eliminate forced labour from supply chains based on internal corporate investigations.

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Article
14 August 2017

2015-Trade Facilitation & Trade Enforcement Act reduced number of Chinese prison labour-derived goods entering the US, report finds

Author: Alexander Bowe, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

“U.S. Exposure to Forced Labor Exports from China: Developments since the U.S. Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015,” 8 Aug 2017

China maintains a network of prison labor facilities that use forced labor to produce goods intended for exports – a violation of U.S.-China trade agreements and U.S. law. U.S. officials continue to face considerable difficulty in combating exports of these forced labor products, since cooperation from Chinese interlocutors has remained at low levels for years. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have not been permitted to make site inspections in China since 2009… The status of the planned abolition of the Chinese “re-education through labor” (RTL) system is uncertain. Some reports indicate forced labor continues to occur at these sites but under a different penal framework.

The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) of 2015 has strengthened U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) ability to prevent Chinese prison labor-derived products from entering U.S. markets primarily through the elimination of the “consumptive demand” exemption [which constituted a ban on imports of prison labor products only if the consumptive demand for those products exceeded the domestic industrial capacity of the U.S.]. [As now consumptive demand no longer requires consideration] the process for issuance of a withhold release order (WRO) for products deemed to have been made with forced labor [has been speeded up]. Since the TFTEA entered into force, four WROs have been issued against Chinese companies. These WROs were the first to be issued against Chinese companies since 1996, and two of the companies in question appear to have since closed…

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Article
14 August 2017

China: Report says products made by forced labour continue to be exported to USA, violating US law and bilateral trade agreements

Author: First Post (India)

"China uses forced labour to export products to United States, says report", 9 Aug 2017

China continues to use forced labour to produce goods intended for export to the US, a violation of the American law and bilateral trade agreements, according to a report...This opacity is exacerbated by the use of middlemen companies to market the products in question for export, by US inspectors' lack of access to suspected sites and by the Chinese government's refusal to agree with the US government on what constitutes forced labour and thus which products are governed by relevant bilateral agreements, it said...

...[T]he US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents had not been permitted to make site inspections in China since 2009. The report said Chinese officials routinely deny that the suspected forced labour was occurring, claiming the factories in question do not exist or that they do not make the products in question. According to the US Department of Labour, known products linked to Chinese forced labour as of September 2016 are artificial flowers, bricks, Christmas decorations, coal, cotton, electronics, fireworks, footwear, garments and construction nails...

 

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