March 29,2016

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Keith Chu (202) 224-3789 

Wyden Applauds Anti-Slave Labor Action Against Soda Ash Imports

WASHINGTON Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., applauded U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for blocking imports of Chinese soda ash suspected of being made with forced prison labor from entering the United States today. Wyden and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, led the fight to close a related loophole in U.S. law on goods made with forced or child labor, which became law earlier this year. The order by CBP to halt such shipments and investigate whether they are produced with forced labor is the first such action since 2001.

The Senate sent a strong message that there is no place for products made by slave labor in the United States, and today CBP followed suit by stepping up enforcement against forced prisoner-made goods,” Wyden said. “Eliminating these morally repugnant products from the market is the right thing to do, and it will help U.S. workers and products compete on even footing with other nations.”

Goods made with forced labor are prohibited from importation into the United States under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, sponsored by Sen. Wyden and signed into law last month, closed a loophole in the original law that allowed goods made with forced labor into the United States if U.S. production was insufficient to meet domestic demand.