FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joint Statement from AAFA, NRF, RILA, and USFIA on House Passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R. 6210)
Washington, DC - September 22, 2020 - What we are witnessing in XUAR is of great concern to our entire industry. Forced labor in any form is intolerable, as is repression of ethnic minorities, wherever it takes place. The situation in this region is of a scale, scope, and complexity that is unprecedented in modern supply chains. Our country and world must unite to end these practices.
We share the goals of the legislation – to end forced labor and the larger campaign of oppression it is fueling – yet we fear this bill will not help us get closer to that end goal. Instead, the legislation would establish a “guilty until proven innocent” blanket standard, directly contradicting U.S. jurisprudence and due process, branding anything and everything associated with XUAR as made with forced labor. Such an approach would do further harm to human rights, economic development, legitimate supply chains, and will jeopardize the livelihoods of millions of workers worldwide without specifically addressing human rights concerns.
A successful solution for all involved, above all for the workers themselves, will require state-to-state engagement and collaborative partnerships. The U.S. Government must take a leadership role in an effort that combines industry, NGOs, unions, Congress, the U.S. government, and other governments. That effort must develop and implement a comprehensive and holistic strategy that most effectively advances us to our mutual end goal – to end forced labor practices and the larger campaign they fuel. We stand ready to work with all stakeholders to find an enforceable solution that effectively protects human rights.
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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.
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, we are the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $400 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA provides exclusive expertise in trade, brand protection, and supply chain & manufacturing to help our members navigate the complex regulatory environment and lower costs. Members gain unparalleled access to information and exclusive insights on regulation and policy, and premier opportunities for networking and collaboration.
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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 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.