Democrats Just Did Something Amazing To Help End The World’s Biggest Evil

On Wednesday, President Obama signed a bill that will have a major impact on the worldwide slave labor. Most items that are produced from forced labor are banned from being imported into the United States. However, due to a small provision in the tariff Act of 1930 some goods produced from slavery have been allowed been exempted from the ban.

Goods that are not produced in a high enough quantity in the US are exempt from the force labor ban. Things like chocolate, rubber, and even shrimp are some of the major imports that are produced from slave labor. According to Reuters, Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said:

“The mere deterrent effect of closing this loophole is a great step forward. We’re going to make sure that is heavily noted throughout the world.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat (of course) from Ohio is the one who introduced the amendment to end the exemption.

 “It’s embarrassing that for 85 years, the United States let products made with forced labor into this country, and closing this loophole gives the U.S. an important tool to fight global slavery,” Brown said.

Slavery is banned all across the globe. That being said, the number of people living in slavery is at an all-time historical high. Right now there are an estimated 30 million people who are living as slaves. That’s an alarming figure. The nation with the highest number of people held in slavery is Mauritania. Research has shown that as much as 10% of Mauritania’s population is enslaved. They were also the last nation on Earth to officially outlaw slavery, holding out until 1981.

The Global Slavery Index estimates that there 60k slaves in the United States. It should be mentioned that there are some criticisms of the GSI worth keeping in mind. Slavery Footprint is an excellent online tool that lets people get an idea of what items they have been purchasing come from slave labor. You can use it to get a better sense of what items you may have been using that may have come from slave labor. Thanks to this legislation, many of those items will no longer be allowed into the US if they come from slave labor.

Featured image from The White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons