Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. §1307) prohibits the importation of any product that was mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor, including forced or indentured child labor. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforces the prohibition.
U.S. customs law has contained prohibitions against importing goods produced by certain categories of labor since the end of the nineteenth century. Beginning in 1890, the United States prohibited imports of goods manufactured with convict labor. In 1930, Congress expanded this prohibition in Section 307 of the Tariff Act to include any (not just manufactured) products of forced labor. Although a few Members of Congress brought up humanitarian concerns during debate, the central legislative concern was with protecting domestic producers from competing with products made with forced labor. As such, Section 307allowed the admission of products of forced labor if it could be shown that no comparable product was made in the United States or the level of domestic production didnot meet domestic demand(“consumptive demand” clause).
Over the decades, lawmakers and civil society became increasingly concerned about forced labor in the context of human trafficking. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-386), for example, included forced labor in its definition of human trafficking.In 2015, Congress removed the “consumptive demand” clause,as part of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (reflecting this interest in addressing human rights abuses in the context of forced labor).
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