Michael Billet Michael Billet
Director, Policy Research, Employment Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


March 07, 2024


Addressing human trafficking is complex and requires a united and coordinated approach to end it. No single organization, business, or government can end the scourge of this crime alone—it needs an approach that engages all of society.

As the voice of business, the U.S. Chamber formed the Task Force to Eradicate Human Trafficking. The task force develops toolkits to raise awareness and provide education, host programs, and meet with government officials to advocate on behalf of the interests of Chamber members. The task force also tracks legislation at the federal level.

The Chamber commends two important pieces of legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2024, which have implications for the business community.

Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act

On February 13, 2024, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5856, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2023, by a vote of 414-11.

H.R. 5856 is vital to maintaining and improving the U.S. response to human trafficking. The legislation would reauthorize several programs that prevent trafficking in persons, which are managed by the Departments of Justice (DOJ), Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), and State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Among other things, the bill would promote awareness training for students in primary and secondary schools and for teachers and other school personnel through the Frederick Douglass Human Trafficking Prevention Education Grant program.

The bill would also require the secretary of HHS to develop the Human Trafficking Survivors Employment and Education Program for survivors so that they can receive job training and employment opportunities.

In addition, the act would streamline the criteria for the Tier 2 Watch List in the Trafficking in Persons, aka the TIP Report, and encourage the USAID administrator to incorporate activities to counter human trafficking in agency programming.

Finally, the bill would provide the following annual authorizations between 2024 and 2028:

  • $116 million for foreign assistance to address trafficking overseas.
  • $25 million for HHS benefits and services for victims of trafficking. 
  • $17 million for ongoing activities of the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking and an interagency task force.

No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act

On February 13, 2024, the House passed H.R. 4039, the No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act, by voice vote.

The bill would prohibit the Department of State and the USAID from spending federal funds on activities they know use goods produced with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Further, this legislation would require a report to Congress identifying violations with a plan to improve enforcement and compliance.

Passage of the No Dollars to Uyghur Forced Labor Act demonstrates the U.S.’ commitment to addressing forced labor abroad. This legislation builds upon the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act as it would ensure that the U.S. is not developing international contracts for strategic projects with partners overseas that source goods or raw materials from Xinjiang.

About the authors

Michael Billet

Michael Billet

Michael Billet, director of policy research for Employment Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, keeps members and internal Chamber policy staff abreast of pending labor, immigration, and health care legislation, as well as federal regulatory and subregulatory activities. He is also responsible for planning the Chamber’s annual workplace and community wellness forum.

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