Secretary Mayorkas’ Strategy to Protect American Textile Industry from Illicit Trade Practices

Textile Industry

Secretary Mayorkas’ Strategy to Protect American Textile Industry from Illicit Trade Practices

The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas met virtually with members of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), comprising both large and small companies pivotal in providing employment opportunities for thousands of American workers. The discussion centered on addressing the significant challenges faced by the textile industry due to illicit practices undermining fair trade agreements and exploiting labor laws.

NCTO representatives highlighted the detrimental impact of unscrupulous actors circumventing free trade agreements, violating the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), and exploiting legal loopholes such as the de minimis shipment exception. In response, Secretary Mayorkas reaffirmed the Department of Homeland Security’s commitment to combating customs violations and protecting American industries.

To address these concerns, Secretary Mayorkas announced the mobilization of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and other DHS agencies to intensify efforts in prosecuting illegal customs practices harming the American textile sector. CBP has already initiated enhanced enforcement measures, employing techniques like physical inspections, laboratory testing, production verification visits, and audits. Moreover, CBP is bolstering its capabilities for isotopic testing to identify goods potentially linked to forced labor violations.

HSI’s focus on labor exploitation investigations aims to curb criminal activities and protect lawful employment opportunities for American workers. Additionally, as the chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, DHS collaborates with various stakeholders to expand the UFLPA Entity List, publicly identifying and holding accountable entities engaged in or facilitating forced labor.

Secretary Mayorkas mandated the agencies to deliver a comprehensive enforcement action plan within 30 days, evaluating the sufficiency of current trade laws in addressing core issues.

In his statement, Secretary Mayorkas underscored DHS’s commitment to utilizing all available tools, including detecting suspicious transshipment practices, publicizing bad actors, isotopic testing, random parcel inspections, and other law enforcement endeavors, to safeguard the integrity of markets and uphold the American textile industry.

As Secretary Mayorkas reinforces the importance of protecting American industries, including the textile sector, against illicit practices, it’s crucial to partner with a freight forwarder who understands the nuances of compliance and regulation. Future Forwarding not only prioritizes adherence to laws and regulations but is dedicated to your success. Reach out to us today.

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