Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade and Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, along with Ambassador Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative; Secretary Marty Walsh, U.S. Department of Labor; Mr Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; and Mr Kato Katsunobu, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan released a joint statement yesterday. The parties share a strong concern about the global situation on forced labour and the newly released forced labour estimates from the International Labour Organization (ILO). There are an estimated 28 million individuals in forced labour, and the number has increased by 3 million since 2016. Therefore they re-emphasised their commitment to eradicating all forms of forced labour, including state-sponsored forced labour, from our rules-based multilateral trading system, and resolved to strengthen national and international efforts to meet this commitment. They also acknowledge that a majority of forced labour involves the private sector and commit to continue working towards enhancing clarity and predictability for businesses by clearly communicating their responsibilities in addressing forced labour in global supply chains and encouraging stronger action by them. On 14 September, the Commission put forward a proposal to ban products made with forced labour from the EU market (press release). The full statement is available here.
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