US detains goods from 5 countries for suspected forced labor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is detaining clothing, gold, diamonds and other items believed to have been produced with forced labor by five companies based in Brazil, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malaysia and Zimbabwe.

An official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Brenda Smith, says her agency issued orders to immediately detain the goods at U.S. ports of entry. The move comes amid a wide-ranging trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has led to new tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of goods.

Smith says the “message here is that one of the ways the U.S. and China can collaborate together is to ensure that forced labor is not used.”

She says the companies can re-export the detained shipments or submit information to show they’re legal.

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