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Fri May 28, 2021, 06:38 PM

US blocks seafood from Chinese fleet over crew mistreatment

Source: Associated Press

US blocks seafood from Chinese fleet over crew mistreatment

By BEN FOX
May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government blocked imports of seafood Friday from the entire fleet of a Chinese company that authorities say forced crew members to work in slave-like conditions that led to the deaths of several Indonesian fishermen last year.

Customs and Border Protection said it will place an immediate hold on any imports linked to the more than 30 vessels operated by Dalian Ocean Fishing, under a U.S. law that bars goods suspected to have been produced with forced labor.

Imports from Dalian, which primarily fishes for tuna, have exceeded $20 million as recently as 2018. Shipments linked to the company have dropped over the past year to about $200,000, officials said.

“We will not tolerate any amount derived from forced labor,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters as he announced the measure.

CBP issued what is known as a withhold release order that halts shipments that have suspected links to forced labor, under a law that has been on the books for decades, ostensibly to protect U.S. producers from unfair competition.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/article/global-trade-government-and-politics-business-23cdfa8b3627bf2b8e2418dea56c1e84

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