The SAFE Center filed comments urging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to adapt and deploy existing international trade mechanisms and develop new strategies and tools to combat forced labor on a more systemic basis. Those who exploit and benefit from forced labor create unfair trade conditions, devastate workers, undercut legitimate business, and mislead customers about the true costs of goods. This leads to a race to the bottom. The SAFE Center advocated for the establishment of an international compact against forced labor, treating forced labor as an actionable subsidy, and bolstering the forced labor provisions of trade preference programs and free trade agreements, including the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement. The SAFE Center asserted that the use of broader strategic international measures are essential given the international drivers of labor trafficking and that labor trafficking continues unabated today – more than twenty years after the adoption of the UN Palermo Protocol and the US landmark legislation to combat human trafficking.
Read the full comments here.