Slave-farmed cocoa and shrimp still entering the US due to legal loophole
For over 80 years now Americans have been consuming agricultural goods produced by slave labor due to a loophole in US customs law.
The goods, specifically shrimp and cocoa, can enter the US border through an exemption in the tariff code that allows for companies to import deregulated goods if there is a shortage of the product in the US. Because there is no clear way of measuring consumption rates or trends, this allows for even crops produced through slave labor to pass through. Often times human rights groups will not investigate imports such as these because companies can retaliate with lawsuits, claiming that they are rightfully protected under this loophole.
Currently most opposition comes from the companies themselves. It is estimated that the United States makes around $50 billion in revenue from products created through forced labor. These can range from food products to metals needed for electronics.
The amendment is tangled in a larger package of bills aiming to fight currency manipulation, making the process even more complicated. However, fighting a trade war to prevent wage competition from other countries will still fail to protect the world’s most exploited workers.