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Article

11 Dec 2020

Author:
Samir Goswami & Mark P. Lagon, The National Interest

Commentary: Biden Administration & Congress should take action against forced & child labor in imports & for rights in trade pacts

"Repairing the U.S. work force in the post-coronavirus era," 6 Dec 2020

A key step that the Biden administration and Congress can take together is to strengthen the role of the U.S. Department of Labor’s International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB)... Their major asset is the List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor that alerts government, civil society and corporate entities around the world of challenges that need to be addressed. The list is used by U.S. companies operating overseas to identify potential risks or vulnerabilities in their supply chain and by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to investigate and hold goods at the U.S. border if they’re suspected to have been made with forced labor... However, the list is limited because it only includes raw materials... The new administration and Congress should support ILAB with additional resources to include the importing of consumer goods made with forced labor.

... Another key step that the new administration and Congress can do is to better enforce labor provisions in existing trade agreements... One such opportunity is enforcing the good labor rights provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement.

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