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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Recent Developments in Forced Labor

Start Date: 7/27/2021 11:00 AM EDT
End Date: 7/27/2021 12:00 PM EDT

Venue Name: Virtual

Organization Name: WIIT

Mary Simpkins
Email: info@wiit.org
Phone: (202) 869-3775

Join us for a special discussion on recent forced labor developments. Forced labor is widespread, occurring in nearly every industry and permeating deep within complicated supply chain tiers. This panel will discuss how businesses are addressing forced labor, the challenges of enforcement, recent developments in best practices, industry collaboration, legislative initiatives, and more. 
NOTE:  This is event if OFF the record.


  • Julia Hughes, President, U.S. Fashion Industry Association
  • Blake Harden, Vice President for International Trade, Retail Industry Leaders Association
  • Dana Watts, Counsel, Miller & Chevalier

Julia K. Hughes is President of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), which represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. She represents the industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders, explaining how fashion companies create high quality jobs in the United States and economic opportunities around the world.

An expert on textile and apparel trade issues, Julie has testified before Congress and the Executive Branch. She frequently speaks at international conferences including the China & Asia Textile Forum, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Harvard University’s Bangladesh Development Conference, MAGIC, Prime Source Forum, Vietnam Textile Summit, and others.

Julie served as the first President and is one of the founders of the Washington Chapter of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and is one of the founders of the WIIT Charitable Trust. She also was the first President of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).  In 1992, she received the Outstanding Woman in International Trade award and in 2008, the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award. She also is a member of the International Women’s Forum.

She has an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Blake Harden is the Vice President for International Trade. Blake coordinates with RILA's government affairs team to advance the retail industry's trade policy agenda. Blake acts as a liaison between RILA members and Congress as the industry voices its support for a U.S. federal trade policy that fosters economic growth.  Blake also leads RILA’s International Trade Committee and Customs Committee.
Prior to joining RILA, Blake served for three years as Trade Counsel to the Committee on Ways and Means.  Before her time on Capitol Hill, Blake served for ten years as an attorney with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Chief Counsel.
Blake holds a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. 

Dana Watts focuses her practice on customs law. She assists clients with all aspects of import compliance, including prior disclosures, ruling requests, forced labor issues, import manuals and policies, Trusted Trader programs, merger and acquisition-related due diligence, and World Trade Organization issues. She regularly advises clients on classification, country of origin, marking, free trade agreements and other special duty provisions, value determinations, first sale analyses, right to make entry, temporary importations under bond, Chapter 98, foreign trade zones, and Sections 301/232/201 issues. She has represented clients in litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade and has litigated multiple "reverse" False Claims Act actions involving customs. Ms. Watts also has experience with a wide variety of international trade issues, including sanctions, export controls, national security reviews before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and Section 337 litigation. Ms. Watts is a licensed U.S. Customs Broker.

Online Registration

Registration is Closed
Closed: 7/27/2021 11:30 AM

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