http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Shrimp_Credit_Jiri_Hera_via_wwwshutterstockcom_CNA.jpgWashington D.C., Mar 6, 2016 / 04:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- When we purchase bananas at the grocery store or eat at a seafood restaurant, we might not think twice about it.
But, many of the everyday products that we use may be the result of forced labor.
“The world is now focused on slave labor again,” said Justin Dillon, CEO of the group Made in a Free World, which seeks to inform businesses about slave and child labor in their supply chains.
Last month, a new federal law was enacted to prohibit importation of goods made with forced labor into the U.S., a big boost in the fight against labor trafficking.
Since the 1930 Tariff Act, which prohibited such importation, one clause exempted this prohibition for when “consumptive demand”; required such goods be imported. Critics have argued that this exemption became a wide loophole and the law’s intent was rarely enforced, resulting in the proliferation of slave-made goods in the U.S. economy.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, passed by both parties in Congress, struck that clause, and President Barack Obama signed the act into law.
The law is a “positive step” in the fight against trafficking because it “closes a rather large loophole” and is a statement that “we as a country are against products produced by forced labor - full stop,” said Mary Leary, a human trafficking expert and law professor at The Catholic University of America.