Industry Leaders Urge Clear and Decisive Action on XUAR

Joint Statement from AAFA, FDRA, NRF, RILA, and USFIA

The American Apparel & Footwear Association, Footwear Distributors of America, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and The United States Fashion Industry Association today submitted a letter to House and Senate Leadership of the 117 Congress, reiterating zero tolerance for forced labor and urging Congress to take quick, clear, implementable, and decisive action on the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The letter further urges Congress to ensure that any action is part of a broader U.S.-led global strategy to end forced labor in the XUAR and the larger campaign of oppression it fuels.  

Today's letter states that, collectively the members of the undersigned associations are:
  • Continuously strengthening the measures they take to identify and eliminate forced labor from their supply chains, particularly when forced labor becomes more widespread in a specific region due to structural policies, as is the case in XUAR. 
  • Investigating new technologies and implementing innovative approaches to decipher where supply chains are susceptible to forced labor.
  • In support of new actions that will build upon current efforts. 
The letter urges Congress to take action that:
  • Requires the development of a transparent, tiered, risk-based approach to enforcement of any new forced labor provisions before implementation of those provisions;
  • Creates a clear, transparent, and evidence-based process for implementing both current and future regulations;
  • Promotes the development and implementation of cost-effective technologies and innovative approaches for traceability; and
  • Establishes the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act as a federal disclosure requirement on what companies are doing to prevent forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains.
The letter dated January 27 is available for download.
About the American Apparel & Footwear Association
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, which compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, we are the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $400 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA provides exclusive expertise in trade, brand protection, and supply chain & manufacturing to help our members navigate the complex regulatory environment and lower costs. Members gain unparalleled access to information and exclusive insights on regulation and policy, and premier opportunities for networking and collaboration.

About the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America
Representing over 90% of the entire footwear industry, FDRA is the industry’s business and trade association. Its members include the majority of U.S. footwear manufacturers, brands, retailers and importers to global footwear companies.

About NRF
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.

About RILA
RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

About the United States Fashion Industry Association
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is dedicated to fashion made possible by global trade. USFIA represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USFIA is the voice of the fashion industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders. With constant, two-way communication, USFIA staff and counsel serve as the eyes and ears of our members in Washington and around the world, enabling them to stay ahead of the regulatory challenges of today and tomorrow. Through our publications, educational events, and networking opportunities, USFIA also connects with key stakeholders across the value chain including U.S. and international service providers, suppliers, and industry groups.
  • Ensuring a Safe, Sustainable Future
  • International Trade
  • Supply Chain
  • Supporting Free Markets and Fostering Innovation
  • Public Policy
  • Retail Works for All of Us

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