Blocking a Loophole

Anything that chips away at the use of child and forced labor is good news. A loophole allowing goods to enter the US even if they had been made with child or forced labor has been closed. The Tariff Act of 1930 said that if there was not enough supply to meet US demand, the goods could come in regardless. Since then the act was used a mere 39 times to block forced labor, the last time being in 2000. The language has now been changed, and goods will no longer be allowed in if child or forced labor is involved, even if suspected of thus being made. The number of goods involved is wider than most might think, and not surprisingly the number of countries is wide too. India, one of the biggest offenders, is suspected making and exporting such goods as bricks, sugarcane, rice, garments, carpets, fireworks footwear and stones. Another big offender, Brazil, is suspected of exporting sugarcane, cotton, bricks, tobacco, cattle, rice, garments, footwear and timber. Bangladesh, still another big offender, exports bricks, garments, footwear, shrimp and textiles. Other products affected by this ban are gold, cotton, coal, pornography, fish, tea, diamonds, rubber, bananas, and cocoa. Some of the other countries include, Burma, Philippines, China, Uganda, Bolivia, Pakistan, Columbia Indonesia, Turkey, Paraguay. The law wasn’t primarily passed to fight child and forced labor, but to benefit businesses. Nevertheless, federal officials will now have to enforce the ban. The question some have is, will there be enough resources for the closing of the loophole to make a difference and send a loud message to reduce the use of child and forced labor? Whether or not the resources are there to make the ban effective though, from a consumer point of view, by familiarizing ourselves with the array of products and the countries involved, we can make our own difference exercising our responsibility and buying power.

One thought on “Blocking a Loophole”

  1. Thanks for the heads-up. Child labor and any other form of child abuse is unacceptable.
    Hope this closed loophole is enforced. It’s important so look at the source of common things we consume in any case.

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