The US federal government announced that it is easing its import ban on tobacco produced in Malawi.
WASHINGTON — An announcement released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that their agency and the Department of Homeland Security are easing tobacco imports produced by companies operating in the East African country of Malawi.
The United States government, then under former President Donald Trump, suspended all imports of tobacco from Malawi over allegations of rampant child labor.
However, DHS and Customs and Border Protection under current President Joe Biden have affirmed compliance from companies and the country to ensure equitable importation to resume soon. The easement of the rules is a positive move, too, given that Malawi is a country dependent on the trade of tobacco flora and other agrarian products.
“CBP’s forced labor enforcement efforts continue to effect positive change for workers around the globe,” said John Leonard in a press statement released by CBP. Leonard is currently the acting executive assistant commissioner of the agency’s Office of Trade.
“Eliminating forced labor from our supply chains prevents the abuse of vulnerable workers, safeguards the competitiveness of law-abiding businesses, and protects consumers from unethically made products,” said Leonard.
“The agency modified the Withhold Release Order in June 2020 to allow imports of tobacco from Alliance One International, LLC and again in August 2020 to allow imports of tobacco from Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company Ltd. Both entities fully addressed CBP’s concerns about the use of forced labor in their production processes,” the statement said.
“Federal statute 19 U.S.C. § 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor and indentured labor. When information reasonably but not conclusively indicates that merchandise within the purview of this provision is being imported, the Commissioner of CBP may issue a Withhold Release Order. Withhold Release Orders direct CBP personnel at U.S. ports of entry to detain shipments containing goods specified by the order.”