Thursday, February 25, 2016

Antislavery bill becomes law despite GOP obstruction

It's news to some, but many of the products you buy are made from slave labor abroad. Corporate America has never been serious about reining in this abuse. Occasionally, you'll read that some industry plans on eliminating slavery in the production of its goods within a few years, but there's a couple problems with that: Slavery should be eliminated immediately, not just within a few years. Plus - without fail - slavery still isn't eliminated when the deadline passes, so another empty promise to eliminate it is made, and the cycle begins anew.

Now President Obama has signed a federal law that bans the importation of goods produced with forced labor. It covers everything from food to minerals to clothing to electronics. The law remedies a 1930 law that has let slave-made goods sluice into the country unabated.

Why wasn't a law against slavery passed earlier? For years, it's been hamstrung by Republicans who preach market fascism.

Hopefully, the next step will be more specific legislation requiring overseas producers of goods sold in America to abide by American labor laws. Meanwhile, the new law must be enforced with gusto.