Partner and Customs Practice Leader
Forced Labor Legislation
Smart In Your World
There is bi-partisan support for forced labor legislation and there are reports that legislation will be passed this year.
We are continuing to monitor the following pending legislation that relates to forced labor:
- The Eagle Act (H.R. 3524)- Prohibits the import of all goods, wares, articles or merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, by forced labor from the People’s Republic of China and particularly any such goods, wares, articles, or merchandise produced in the XUAR region. The US must also coordinate with Canada and Mexico to effectively implement Article 23.6 of the USMCA to prohibit the importation of goods produced with forced labor, including goods produced with forced labor in China. This bill also provides for sanctions including asset blocking.
- New York Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (S7428) imposes supply chain mapping requirements, as well as the disclosure of environmental and social impacts on fashion retailers and manufacturers in New York State.
- Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act (HR 2072) requires issuers of securities to publicly disclose their activities relating to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Specifically, issuers must disclosure the importation of manufactured goods or raw materials that are sourced from or through the XUAR, as well as the details relating to the manufactured goods including the commercial activity relating to the good/material, the gross revenue and net profits attributable to the good/material, and whether the issuer intends to continue importing such merchandise.
- Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act (HR 3075) requires increased monitoring of imported seafood in order to detect imports of fish and fish products at risk of being associate with illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, human trafficking, forced labor, and seafood fraud. The bill would also increase supply chain transparency in the seafood industry and strengthen enforcement against illegal fishing practices and forced labor.
- Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act (HR 1187) provides for increased disclosure requirements for publicly traded companies including many of the disclosure requirements that are also included in the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act, which is also pending. Issuers of securities must disclosure the importation of manufactured goods or raw materials that are sourced from or through the XUAR, as well as the details relating to the manufactured goods including the commercial activity relating to the good/material, the gross revenue and net profits attributable to the good/material, and whether the issuer intends to continue importing such merchandise. This bill passed the House on June 16, 2021, and is currently pending in the Senate.
- Countering Human Trafficking Act of 2021 (S. 2991), which would establish a Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) within the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, which would operate an Operations unit to support criminal investigations of human trafficking (including sex trafficking and forced labor), and augment the enforcement of the prohibition on the importation of merchandise produced with forced labor through civil and criminal authorities.
- The Slave Free Business Certification Act of 2022 (S. 3578) requires businesses with annual revenue greater than $500 million to audit their supply chains for labor practices or human trafficking activities that violate specified national or international standards and report results to the Department of Labor. Specifically, the bill requires that the covered entities conduct supply chain audits (including worker and management interviews), the disclosure of policies to prevent forced labor, to evaluate and address risks of forced labor, and to provide training on recognizing and preventing forced labor. It will also require the CEO to certify their compliance with the Act and whether there were any instances of forced labor discovered. Penalties include $100 million in civil damages and $500 million in punitive damages.
- The Transaction and Sourcing Knowledge Act (“TASK”) Act (S.4095) requires the Security and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to require reporting of sourcing and due diligence activities of companies involving supply chains of products that are imported into the United States that are directly linked to products utilizing forced labor from Xinjiang, China.
For additional details, please refer to our website alert regarding the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
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