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Manufacturing News

Congress Moves to Ban Forced Labor Products

In February, Congress passed a bill that would close a loophole that allowed products made by forced or child labor to be imported into the United States.

This ban is largely the result of a study conducted by the Associated Press (AP) that tracked the origin of seafood sold in restaurants and grocery stores around the United States. The AP found that a significant portion of this seafood was originally caught and processed by enslaved workers. As a result of the report, Congress moved to enact stricter regulations on forced labor products.

Under the new bill, a list of over 350 products produced by child or forced labor would be blocked from importation. However, critics of the bill believe that this list is too limited, and that the ban should broadly apply to all forced labor products.



Congress Passes the TPP

Congress has passed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement designed to promote international trade between 12 countries along the Pacific Rim.

According to the federal government, the partnership will strengthen U.S. trade by improving protections for intellectual property—such as copyrights and trademarks. The government also claims that the TPP will prevent other countries from manipulating the value of their currencies to the detriment of domestic manufacturers.

Critics of the TPP believe that trade protections included in the agreement aren’t sufficient to promote U.S. exports, and that the agreement may cause businesses to cut jobs.



OSHA Seeks Public Comments


OSHA is currently seeking public feedback on its recommended “weight of evidence” approach for analyzing the risks of various chemicals. The approach is not a standard or a regulation, and it is intended to assist employers in providing a safe workplace.

The weight of evidence method is an analysis that considers all information concerning a substance’s safety, such as clinical studies, case reports and observations. OSHA believes that a weight of evidence approach can help employers evaluate what information to disclose on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).

For more information on the weight of evidence approach, or to submit a comment to OSHA, visit www.regulations.gov.

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