Events and insight for sustainability

Could forced labour cost your company access to the US market?

09 March 2017
Ian Welsh
Border post
Goods will be seized

The legislative landscape around forced labour and modern slavery is changing and companies that are not engaging and tackling these issues in their supply chains may find themselves barred from some markets, particularly the US

The 2016 US Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act introduced restrictions on importation into the US of goods produced with forced labour, closing a loophole in the 1930 Tariff Act that allowed for importation of goods that may have had forced labour in the supply chain if US domestic production did not meet demand.

This change last year came on the back of earlier legislation and rule changes in the US including the Port State Measures Agreement and the Californian Transparency in Supply Chains Act.

Elsewhere, of course, the evolving picture is similar, with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act having been in force since late 2015. France is another country with tightening rules coming into play.

So, clearly, companies need to act and be seen to act. But what are the implications if they don’t? What are the risks they run?

Leading the debate in this Innovation Forum webinar are:

  • Ken Kennedy, senior policy advisor, forced labour programs, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security
  • Corey Norton, export and import attorney, Trade Pacific Law
  • Darian McBain, global director of sustainable development, Thai Union

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

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