[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[November 3, 1998]
[Page 1974]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Agreement on Fighting Sweatshop Practices
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 2 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.