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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 3, 1998


Today's agreement on fighting sweatshop practices is an historic step toward reducing sweatshop labor around the world and will give American consumers confidence that the clothes they buy are made under decent and humane working conditions. I applaud the apparel industry, labor unions, nongovernmental organizations, and consumer groups who answered the challenge I laid out two years ago to find cooperative ways to reduce sweatshop labor.

This agreement is only the beginning. We know that sweatshop labor will not vanish overnight. While this agreement is an historic step, we must measure our progress by how we change and improve the lives and livelihoods of apparel workers here in the United States and around the world. That is why I urge more companies to join this effort and follow these strict rules of conduct.

I want to thank all the parties who worked so hard to bring this agreement to a close, and especially Senator Tom Harkin, who first brought this issue to my attention a long time ago.