Mexico probing allegations of forced labor at tomato export firms

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MEXICO CITY, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Mexico’s authorities mentioned on Friday that it has established a working group to analyze allegations of forced labor at two tomato export firms, after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) mentioned it might bar imports from these firms.

The CBP mentioned in a press release on Thursday that efficient Oct. 21 its officers at all U.S. ports of entry would detain recent tomatoes produced by the tomato farm Agropecuarios Tom S.A. de C.V., and Horticola S.A de C.V., and their subsidiaries.

CBP issued a withhold launch order towards Agropecuarios, Horticola and their subsidiaries primarily based on data that moderately signifies the use of forced labor towards its employees. learn extra

Mexico’s labor ministry mentioned it has requested the financial system ministry to open a communication channel with the businesses, in coordination with the National Agricultural Council, and to hold out the corresponding investigations.

“If any breach of labor regulations is identified, a plan is established to guarantee the protection of workers’ rights,” the labor ministry mentioned.

Following the CBP’s order, “the tomato companies have the right to appeal the decision to the U.S. customs authority and present evidence that demonstrates their compliance with labor regulations, in order for the sanction to be lifted,” the ministry added.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has mentioned addressing forced labor allegations are a precedence in its commerce relations with Mexico.

Homeland Security Department Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned on Wednesday the administration needed to make “clear that products made in whole or in part by forced labor will not be allowed into the United States… We will remove it from American supply chains.”

The International Labor Organization estimates that 25 million employees undergo below situations of forced labor worldwide, in response to the Biden administration.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Adriana Barrera; Editing by Sandra Maler

omatoes are displayed at a vegetable stall in La Merced market, downtown Mexico City January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo (MEXICO - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS FOOD)