Joint Statement from AAFA, NAFTZ, NRF, RILA, and USFIA Regarding Congressional Passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
December 16, 2021 | WASHINGTON, D.C.
Today’s Congressional passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, H.R. 6256, is a key component of a broad global strategy, and our shared goal, to end forced labor. We thank Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) for their leadership on this legislation.
Our members are persistent and unyielding in their efforts to identify, root out, and eliminate traces of forced labor in their supply chains, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a critical partner to supplement our members’ own due diligence. This legislation will amplify that partnership by ensuring CBP can effectively and robustly enforce not only the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, but the larger forced labor statute, by using a transparent and evidence-based process based on U.S. jurisprudence to target bad actors. These efforts are essential to effectively stop products made with forced labor from entering the United States.
We look forward to President Biden quickly signing this bill into law and to working with CBP on crafting a smart, comprehensive, effective, and enforceable strategy to carry it out.
About the American Apparel & Footwear Association
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, AAFA is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its three million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $350 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA drives progress on three key priorities: Brand Protection; Supply Chain & Sourcing; Trade, Manufacturing, & Logistics. AAFA approaches this work through the lens of purpose-driven leadership in a manner that supports each member’s ability to build and sustain inclusive and diverse cultures, meet and advance ESG goals, and draw upon the latest technology.
NAFTZ is the voice of the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones program, created by Congress in 1934 to help U.S.-based companies be more globally competitive; maintain U.S.-based activity and jobs; attract investment to American communities; and boost exports through special duty benefits and customs procedures. FTZs account for a significant portion of total U.S. trade – 5.6 percent ($87 billion) of U.S. goods exports and 10.7 percent ($250.6 billion) of U.S. goods imports in 2017. Over 450,000 American workers are employed at FTZs in all fifty states and Puerto Rico.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.
About the United States Fashion Industry Association
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow. Through our publications, educational events, and networking opportunities, USFIA also connects with key stakeholders across the value chain including U.S. and international service providers, suppliers, and industry groups.