United States and Mexico Announce Plan to Remediate Denials of Rights at Mexican Garment Facility - U.S. International Trade Representative
WASHINGTON – The United States and Mexico today announced a course of remediation to address denials of rights at the Industrias del Interior (INISA) facility in the state of Aguascalientes. This announcement marks the sixth time the United States and Mexico have agreed on a formal course of remediation under the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)’s Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM).
Today’s announcement follows a request the United States sent to Mexico on June 12, 2022, asking Mexico to review whether INISA workers were being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Mexico accepted the request and found workers at the garment facility are experiencing a denial of rights.
“We will closely monitor this remediation plan to ensure workers at the INISA facility can freely exercise their freedom of association and collective bargaining rights,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “Today’s announcement reflects how continued collaboration between the United States and Mexico leads to concrete and effective measures to address existing labor violations and prevent new ones.”
“Through the Rapid Response mechanism, we have made it clear that companies are expected to respect the representative union and negotiate in real collective bargaining, whether in cases involving the auto sector or like today in the garment sector,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “We applaud the parties for reaching this agreement, and we again recognize the strong collaboration with the Government of Mexico in protecting workers’ rights.”
The course of remediation details a plan to remedy violations of Mexican law at the facility, and it includes measures aiming to prevent violations in the facility moving forward.
Under the course of remediation, the Government of Mexico will:
• Ensure that INISA posts, disseminates, and abides by a public, written statement in which INISA commits to: ensure respect for the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining; affirm its neutrality on workers’ union choices, and guarantee its non-interference in all union activities; and refrain from attempts to influence workers’ views on unions or union officials in any way;
• Ensure INISA issues transparent guidelines that govern the conduct of personnel at the Facility, implement the commitments of the neutrality statement, and establish the rights provided to workers, union representatives and union advisers at the Facility;
• Ensure INISA implements a zero-tolerance policy for violations of the guidelines and neutrality statement;
• Ensure INISA trains all company personnel and union representatives on the company guidelines and neutrality statements;
• Offer a telephone line and/or direct email address for workers to anonymously report any intimidation, coercion, or threats with respect to their selection of a union or union activities, or non-neutrality, or interference in internal union affairs;
• Conduct in-person workers’ rights training for all company personnel during normal working hours and post and distribute informational material at the facility regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining; and
• Initiate sanctions proceedings, according to Mexican law, if Mexico has information that shows violations of Mexican law, and impose appropriate sanctions against individuals, labor organizations, or companies that have been found to violate Mexican law.
The United States and Mexico agreed to establish a deadline of November 10, 2023 to complete the course of remediation.
The United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Labor co-chair the Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement (ILC). On May 12, 2023, the ILC received an RRM petition from the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), a Mexican labor organization, and the Sindicato de Industrias del Interior, a union representing workers at the facility. The petition alleged that INISA, which manufactures denim garments, was committing acts of employer interference by coercing workers to accept the company’s proposed collective bargaining agreement revisions and intervening in the union’s internal affairs. The petition also alleged INISA was failing to bargain in good faith with the union.
The ILC determined that there was sufficient, credible evidence of a denial of rights enabling the good faith invocation of enforcement mechanisms. As a result, on June 12, 2023, the United States Trade Representative submitted a request to Mexico that Mexico conduct its own review. Mexico agreed, and on July 27, 2023, concluded there are ongoing denials of the right to free association and collective bargaining at the facility. The United States and Mexico then consulted on a course of remediation to remediate the denials of rights.
Read the full course of remediation here.
Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Foundry Coke Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Fourth Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Acetone From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Certain Pea Protein From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation
• Certain Steel Nails From the Sultanate of Oman: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2021-2022
• Certain Paper Shopping Bags From the People's Republic of China and India: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations in the Countervailing Duty Investigations
• Steel Wire Garment Hangers From Taiwan and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Orders
• Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Determinations, Investigations, etc.: Certain Pea Protein From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Vaporizer Devices, Cartridges Used Therewith, and Components Thereof; Institution of Investigation
• Certain Wet Dry Surface Cleaning Devices; Notice of a Commission Determination To Review in Part a Final Initial Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Request for Written Submissions on Remedy, the Public Interest, and Bonding
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks From Italy: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Certain Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Taiwan and Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe From Taiwan: Negative Final Determinations of Circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Orders
• Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Initiation and Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review
• Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar From Mexico: Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021; Correction
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Lined Paper School Supplies From China and India________________________________________________________________________________
CPSC Approves Rules Implementing Bans on Inclined Sleepers for Infants and Crib Bumpers Rules Aim to Save Lives and Result in a Safer Marketplace for Parents and Babies - Consumer Product Safety Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Commission voted today (08/07/23) (4 to 0) to issue two final rules to codify the bans of inclined sleepers for infants and crib bumpers that Congress established in the Safe Sleep for Babies Act (SSBA). The SSBA prohibits not only the sale of inclined sleepers for infants and crib bumpers, but also the manufacture for sale, distribution, or importation into the United States, of these products. The rules implement the statute which went into effect on November 12, 2022.
These rules aim to save infants’ lives and create a safer marketplace for parents.
The final rule for infant sleepers defines “inclined sleeper for infants” as a product with an inclined sleep surface greater than ten degrees that is intended, marketed, or designed to provide sleeping accommodations for an infant up to 1 year old.
Crib bumper is defined in that final rule as:
1. Any material that is intended to cover the sides of a crib to prevent injury to any crib occupant from impacts against the side of a crib or to prevent partial or complete access to any openings in the sides of a crib to prevent a crib occupant from getting any part of the body entrapped in any opening;
2. Includes a padded crib bumper, a supported and unsupported vinyl bumper guard, and vertical crib slat covers; and
Does not include a non-padded mesh crib liner.
Parents and caregivers are reminded:
• The best place for an infant to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard.
• Use a fitted sheet only and never add blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment.
• Infants should always be placed to sleep on their back. Infants who fall asleep in an inclined or upright position should be moved to a safe sleep environment with a firm, flat surface such as a crib, bassinet or play yard.
Since the SSBA came into effect, CPSC has conducted a comprehensive outreach effort to manufacturers, importers, and sellers to enforce the new law, including educating them about the requirements, and making sure they are aware of their compliance obligations. This ongoing effort will include direct communications, online resources,and other activities.
The Commission vote was 4 to 0
Shop Smart this School Season: Business, Law Enforcement Team Up to Educate Americans to Identify, Avoid Counterfeit Goods - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
WASHINGTON — As students and educators across America gear up to return to campus, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are on a mission to educate the public. The lesson? To teach students, parents, teachers, and small businesses about the risks posed by counterfeit goods and how to avoid them.
August is the peak season for school supply shopping, but it’s also an opportunity for scammers to peddle counterfeit, potentially harmful goods. In Fiscal Year 2022, CBP seized nearly 25 million counterfeit goods with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of nearly $3 billion. These fakes include back-to-school staples like electronics, footwear, study supplies, and clothing.
“CBP is committed to maximizing compliance with laws that protect American families from the dangers counterfeit goods pose to their health and well-being,” said Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Trade, John P. Leonard. “As a father, I don’t want my kids carrying backpacks or lunchboxes with unsafe levels of lead in their zippers. That’s the type of risk we’re talking about here, and the type of risk that CBP is working to mitigate.”
Opting for a knock-off backpack or counterfeit phone charger might seem like a budget-friendly choice, but it comes with risks. Fake goods often break down or don't meet safety standards, ultimately doubling the cost for consumers, who pay with their health and their wallet. Despite luring shoppers with promises of low prices, counterfeiters' subpar and potentially dangerous products don't make the grade.
“Fake goods are a real danger to American families, especially for those preparing for the new school year,” said Tom Quaadman, Executive Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center. “Together, business and law enforcement urge everyone to protect themselves with our Five Tips to Shop Smart.”
Counterfeits drain more than $500 billion annually from the global economy, posing a serious threat to small businesses. That’s why companies and law enforcement are taking to the airwaves and online in an ongoing nationwide public education nationwide to spread the lessons on identifying, avoiding, and reporting fake goods.
For more information about what you can do to shop smart for the back-to-school shopping season visit CBP’s the truth behind counterfeits webpage and www.USChamber.com/shopsmart.
FDA Issues Draft Guidance for Registration and Listing of Cosmetic Product Facilities and Products - Food & Drug Administration
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a draft guidance which, once finalized, will assist cosmetics companies submitting cosmetic product facility registrations and cosmetic product listings, including ingredients, to the FDA. This includes a wide range of products such as makeup products, nail polishes, shaving creams and other grooming products, perfumes, face and body cleansers, haircare products, moisturizers, and other skincare products.
“On average, consumers in the U.S. use six to 12 cosmetics products daily. But, until recently the FDA didn’t have the authority to require manufacturers to submit cosmetic product listings, including a list of ingredients used in these products, or register the facilities where they were produced,” said Namandjé Bumpus, Ph.D., FDA’s Chief Scientist. “Passage of the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA) changed this. Later this year, registration and listing of cosmetic product facilities and products will become a requirement, making information about cosmetic products, including the ingredients used in products and the facilities where they are produced, readily available to the agency.”
The draft guidance, “Registration and Listing of Cosmetic Product Facilities and Products: Guidance for Industry,” describes MoCRA requirements for facility registration and product listing, and the exemptions under MoCRA for certain small businesses. Under MoCRA, submission of information about existing cosmetic product facilities and products is required no later than Dec. 29. Facility registration information is to be updated within 60 days of a change and registration to be renewed every two years. Additionally, any updates to a product listing, such as a change in product ingredients, are to be provided annually.
“The FDA is working to strengthen its oversight in regard to the safety of cosmetics,” said Linda Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors. “The agency will rely on registration and listing information to accomplish several objectives, such as identifying facilities producing products potentially causing adverse events, facilitating the recall of unsanitary products, administering product testing and surveillance programs, planning inspections and identifying products marketed in violation of the law.”
Until March, the FDA operated a Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program for cosmetics manufacturers that provided the agency with only a snapshot of the information available about cosmetic products and ingredients, their frequency of use and businesses engaged in their manufacture and distribution. The FDA is developing a new system for receiving registration and listing information required by MoCRA.
Today’s draft guidance is intended to play a critical role in helping to ensure the safety of cosmetic products that many consumers use day-to-day. It also serves as a milestone within the agency’s continued efforts to protect the public health. The FDA is accepting comments on the draft guidance until Sept. 7.
Cyber Safety Review Board Releases Report on Activities of Global Extortion-Focused Hacker Group Lapsus$ - Department of Homeland Security
Report Includes 10 Specific Recommendations for Government and Industry
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Cyber Safety Review Board’s (CSRB) report summarizing the findings of its review into the activities associated with a threat actor group known as Lapsus$. The CSRB found that Lapsus$ leveraged simple techniques to evade industry-standard security tools that are a lynchpin of many corporate cybersecurity programs and outlined 10 actionable recommendations for how government, companies, and civil society can better protect against Lapsus$ and similar groups. The report was delivered to President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. through Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
“Our ability to protect Americans from cyber vulnerabilities has never been stronger thanks to the community we are building through the Cyber Safety Review Board,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “As our threat environment evolves, so too must our detection and prevention capabilities. We must also evolve our ability to deploy those capabilities. The CSRB’s findings are not only timely, they are actionable and written with the guidance of real-world practitioners in the private sector.”
Beginning in late 2021 and late into 2022, Lapsus$ reportedly employed techniques to bypass a range of commonly used security controls and successfully infiltrated dozens of well-resourced organizations. The CSRB engaged with nearly 40 organizations and individuals — including representatives from threat intelligence firms, incident response firms, targeted organizations, international law enforcement organizations, as well as individual researchers and subject matter experts, and companies targeted in the attacks — to better understand the incidents and recommend safety improvements for the future.
The CSRB found that Lapsus$ and related threat actors used primarily simple techniques, like stealing cell phone numbers and phishing employees, to gain access to companies and their proprietary data. Among its findings, the Board saw a collective failure across organizations to account for the risks associated with using text messaging and voice calls for multi-factor authentication. It calls for organizations to immediately switch to more secure, easy-to-use, password-less solutions by design. The report also includes recommendations for cell phone carriers to better protect their customers by implementing stringent authentication methods, and for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to mandate and standardize best practices to combat SIM swapping.
“The Board examined how a loosely organized group of hackers, some of them teenagers, were consistently able to break into the most well-defended companies in the world,” said CSRB Chair and DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “We uncovered deficiencies in how companies ensure the security of their vendors; how cell phone carriers protect their customers from SIM swapping; and how organizations authenticate users on their systems. The Board put forward specific recommendations to address these issues and more, in line with the Board’s mandate to conduct comprehensive after-action reviews of the most significant cyber incidents.”
“The Cyber Safety Review Board took on this review to better understand Lapsus$’s tactics and help organizations protect themselves,” said CSRB Deputy Chair Heather Adkins. “Our findings noted the weaknesses with many current methods of authentication, and we provide timely and actionable recommendations for all organizations to put stronger defenses in place.”
“The CSRB’s latest report reinforces the need for all organizations to take urgent steps to increase their cyber resilience, including the implementation of phishing-resistant multi-factor authentication,” said Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly. “I look forward to working with our federal and industry partners to act on the CSRB’s recommendations, to include continuing our secure-by-design work with technology manufacturers to ensure that necessary security features are provided to customers without additional cost.”
As directed by President Biden through Executive Order 14028 Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, Secretary Mayorkas established the CSRB in February 2022. The CSRB provides a unique forum for leading government and industry experts to review significant cybersecurity events and provide recommendations to better protect our nation. DHS and the CSRB are committed to transparency and will, whenever possible, release public versions of CSRB reports, consistent with applicable law and the need to protect sensitive information from disclosure.
To read the full report, visit CISA.gov/CSRB