Brown demands government end contracts with labor law violators

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) demanded Thursday that federal agencies stop buying products from foreign contractors that use child labor and violate worker safety laws.

“It’s not in the interest of American jobs, American taxpayers, or global human rights when our government procures goods from factories with records of blatant international labor violations,” Brown said. 

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Brown introduced S. 2001, the Wear American Act, which would require all textile products purchased by federal agencies to be made in the United States.

Brown said that because the federal government lacks the ability to ensure all foreign products purchased were not made by companies violating labor laws, it should only buy products from America, where labor laws are enforced.

“The limited enforcement actions our government has at its disposal are undermined by a simple lack of disclosure,” Brown said. “American taxpayers deserve to know the addresses of factories receiving contracts before they are awarded.”

The Wear American Act would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require federal agencies to procure textiles and apparel articles — including the components for such articles — that are manufactured in the U.S. entirely from articles, materials, or supplies mined, produced, or manufactured in the U.S.

Brown said his bill would also help create U.S. jobs. He said the federal government spends more than $1.5 billion a year on foreign-made products, some of which were made using child labor in substandard working conditions.

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