U.S. blocks import of goods from five nations in rare anti-slavery crackdown


NEW YORK – The United States has blocked the import of goods suspected to have been made with forced labour from five countries, including clothing from China and diamonds from Zimbabwe, officials said on Tuesday following a rare crackdown on slave labor abroad.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it seized five different products this week based on information indicating the goods were made using slave labor overseas. The items included rubber gloves made by a company in Malaysia, gold from artisanal mines in Democratic Republic of Congo, clothes produced by a firm in Xinjiang, China, diamonds from the Marange Diamond Fields in Zimbabwe, and bone black – charred animal bones – manufactured by a business in Brazil.

Under a 2016 law, it is illegal to import goods into the United States that are made entirely or in part by forced labor – which includes prison work, bonded labor and child labour. “A major part of CBP’s mission is facilitating legitimate trade and travel,” said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.(Thomson Reuters Foundation)…[+]