Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organization (WTO) urging action on forced labor as part of its ongoing negotiations to end harmful subsidies to the fishing section.
Following the announcement, Oceana’s deputy vice president for U.S. campaigns, Beth Lowell, issued this statement:
“Oceana applauds U.S. leadership in the fight against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and forced labor. Proposing that the WTO address forced labor as part of its ongoing fisheries subsidies negotiations is a logical and natural fit to support its mandated efforts to reduce overfishing and IUU fishing. Safe conditions, fair terms, and humane treatment of workers is a ‘must have’ pillar of sustainable seafood. By using all tools, including trade mechanisms like this, the U.S. can ensure that our seafood is not the product of IUU fishing or forced labor and other human rights abuses. All seafood sold in the U.S. should be safe, legally caught, responsible sourced, and honestly labeled.”