Last week, a bill that includes a provision banning U.S. imports of goods produced by child slaves in foreign countries went into effect, thanks to President Obama.
The prohibition, reports Oregon Live, was a small part of the massive Congressional bill called The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. As a result, the U.S. will no longer receive fish caught by slaves in Southeast Asia, gold mined by children in Africa or garments sewn by abused women in Bangladesh.
The embarrassing loophole has gone largely unnoticed for the past 85 years but now, has effectively ended.
Said Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who offered the amendment eliminating the exception:
“It’s embarrassing that for 85 years, the United States let products made with forced labor into this country, and closing this loophole gives the U.S. an important tool to fight global slavery.”
Last year, The Associated Press found out that certain Thai companies were exporting fish to the United States using enslaved workers. Shortly after the injustice was exposed, swift action was taken. So far, more than 2,000 trapped fishermen have been rescued, and more than a dozen alleged traffickers have been arrested. In addition, millions of dollars’ worth of seafood and vessels have been confiscated.
According to Sen. Brown, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be equipped to enforce the new rules when the new law takes place in 15 days.
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