Assembly Bill 2457

The bill below makes it a state policy to not buy goods made by slave laborers. The bill passed in the Assembly by a vote of 62-2 on Friday, August 30 and was signed into law by Governor Wilson on Wednesday, October 2.

(updated October 2, 1996)


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE 1995-96 REGULAR SESSION

ASSEMBLY BILL No. 2457

Introduced by Assembly Member Figueroa

February 20, 1996

An act to add Section 10299 to the Public Contract Code, relating to state procurement.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL's DIGEST

AB 2457, as introduced, Figueroa. State procurement:forced, convict, and indentured labor.

Existing law requires contracts for the hiring or purchase of equipment, supplies, and materials by state agencies to be approved by the Department of General Services.

This bill would require those contracts to contain a statement by the contractor, attesting that no foreign-made equipment, materials, or supplies furnished to the state pursuant to the contract are produced by forced labor, as defined, convict labor, or indentured labor under penal sanction.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.

State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows:

(a) The people of California do not support any forced, convict, or indentured labor system anywhere in theworld, not only because it is a cruel suppression of the human right of free labor and employment practices, but also because it creates an unfair trade advantage for the forced, convict, or indentured labor country.

(b) The federal Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, while prohibiting the importation of any goods produced in whole or in part by forced, convict, or indentured labor, does not require importers to provide certificates of origin at the time of importation to affirm and guarantee no forced, convict, or indentured labor content.

(c) The federal Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 also does not require the United States Customs Service to have an active, self-initiated foreign surveillance program of detecting forced, convict, or indentured labor-made goods and preventing their entry into the United States, but relies primarily upon complaints made by the public or other interested groups.

(d) Widespread forced, convict, and indentured labor systems still remain active in mainland China, with about 20 million inmates in the Laogai facilities, and in countries constituting parts of the former Soviet Union, with millions of inmates in the gulag facilities. Because the United States has increased trade with those countries, there is a greater chance of forced, convict, or indentured-labor-made imports coming into this country.

(e) The State of California wholeheartedly supports the prohibition on imports produced in whole or in part by forced, convict, or indentured labor and shall not knowingly acquire any of those goods.

SEC. 2. Section 10299 is added to the Public Contract Code, to read:

10299. (a) Every contract entered into by any state agency for the purpose specified in subdivision (a) of Section 10295 shall contain a statement in which the contractor attests that no foreign-made equipment, materials, or supplies furnished to the state pursuant to the contract have been produced in whole or in part by forced labor, convict labor, or indentured labor underpenal sanction.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term "forced labor" shall have the same meaning as in Section 1307 of Title 19 of the United States Code.

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