Malaysia

Labour, 153 Democrat Members of the House of Representatives, 29 May 2014,  “In Malaysia, the Department of State reports that rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining are ‘severely restricted’, including prohibitions on union membership by workers in several sectors, significant limits on the right to strike, and governmental interference in union registration.  The Department of Labor lists the country as a source of garments and palm oil which it has reason to believe are produced with forced labor, and the Department of State notes that sources reported occurrences of forced labor in a number of industries, including agriculture, fishing, electronics factories, construction, and others.  … These issues must be addressed in a serious and meaningful way in order for the TPP to move forward.  We must do everything possible to prevent the American marketplace from being flooded with imports manufactured by workers laboring without human dignity and individual rights. The Administration must refrain from validating such woefully inadequate labor norms and the final agreement should be withheld until these countries embrace the need to reform their labor laws and move aggressively to implement them.”

SPS (Seafood), 3 Bipartisan Members of the House of Representatives, 29 November 2012, “Malaysia is the seventh largest exporter of shrimp to the United States.  As you know, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials determined that some exporters in Malaysia have acted as conduits to transship Chinese shrimp to the United States in order to circumvent both FDA Import Alerts and antidumping duties. CBP has tested shipments of suspected Chinese shrimp illegally transshipped through Malaysia and found contamination. Unfortunately, the Malaysian government is not allowing CBP and ICE officials to investigate the facilities of suspected exporting firms.  According to a May 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on antidumping and countervailing duties, GAO investigators were given approval by the Malaysian government to visit honey and shrimp producers in that country, but that approval was then rescinded without explanation…a cooperative agreement with Malaysia that allows CBP and ICE officials access to exporter facilities in order to end Malaysia’s circumvention of U.S. law is critical.”

SPS (Seafood) 1 House Democrat, 7 September 2011, “At the same time, another TPP country, Malaysia is now the seventh largest exporter of fresh shrimp and sixth largest of prepared shrimp to the United States. The concern with Malaysia rests with the growing illegal transshipment schemes that avoid U.S. food safety and trade laws occurring in that country. Specifically, following the imposition of antidumping duties in 2005 and an FDA Import Alert on Chinese shrimp in 2007, the volume of frozen shrimp imported from China to the United States dropped significantly. Chinese shrimp exports to Malaysia, however, jumped from an annual average of 2.3 million pounds to 66 million pounds in 2008 while imports to the United States of frozen shrimp from Malaysia skyrocketed from an annual average of 1.9 million pounds to 66.2 million in 2008 suggesting that Chinese shrimp is being transshipped through Malaysia to avoid U.S. antidumping duties.” (Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education)