PanamaTimes

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

US blocks sugar imports from top Dominican producer over forced labor concerns

US blocks sugar imports from top Dominican producer over forced labor concerns

US authorities will block imports of sugar produced in the Dominican Republic by company Central Romana, on suspicion of forced labor at its facilities.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain the company’s raw sugar and sugar-based products at all US ports of entry effective Wednesday, the agency said in a statement published that day, citing “inhumane practices.”

Central Romana is the largest producer of sugar in the Dominican Republic, acording to its website.

The decision to ban its sugar is “based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in its operations,” reads the CBP statement.

“CBP identified five of the International Labour Organization’s 11 indicators of forced labor during its investigation: abuse of vulnerability, isolation, withholding of wages, abusive working and living conditions, and excessive overtime,” it said.

Central Romana said the move was cause for “great concern” in a statement published on Twitter.

“The rationale behind this measure does not reflect the policies and practices of Central Romana,” it said, adding that the company has spent “millions” to improve living and working conditions, “guaranteeing living wages and increased benefits,” and offering educational and training programs.

The company, which started operating in 1912, also works in a number of different industries, including real estate; airport and port operations; and meat and dairy production, according to the company website.

US authorities have been investigating labor issues in the Dominican Republic’s sugar industry for a number of years.

“While the country’s Ministry of Labor and sugar companies have made important progress, concerns remain about dangerous working conditions, verification of pay and hours, unsuitable living conditions, workers’ precarious legal status and other potential labor rights abuses,” the US Department of Labor said in a statement published September 13.

The department also added sugarcane from the Dominican Republic to its List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor that month.

Wednesday’s order “demonstrates CBP’s commitment to protect human rights and international labor standards and to promote a fair and competitive global marketplace,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller in the CBP release.

The Caribbean nation’s sugar industry has traditionally relied on workers from neighboring Haiti. In recent years the Dominican Republic has stepped up efforts to expel undocumented Haitian migrants amid rising xenophobia.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
Former Bolivian President Evo Morales Denied Eligibility for 2025 Re-Election
Venezuela's Maduro Condemns 'Provocation' as UK Sends Warship to Guyana Venezuela's President Maduro has condemned the UK's deployment of the warship HMS Trent to Guyana as a hostile act amid ongoing border tensions
Colombian Hometown Unveils Impressive Nearly 21ft Bronze Statue of Shakira
×