Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presided over a ceremonial bill signing Monday at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The legislation cracks down on human trafficking. The measure penalizes big businesses that sell goods and services tainted by slavery and exploitation.
The “California Transparency in Supply Chains Act” forces companies to post online their policies for ensuring their supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.
The bill applies to retailers and manufacturers that gross more than $100 million worldwide.
In California that’s about 3,000 companies that produce nearly 90 percent of the economic activity.
Schwarzenegger said the bill’s critics tried to convince him the measure will hurt the state’s economy.
"There was someone that asked me: Isn't that a job killer, this bill? And I said no. It's a lifesaver. That's what this bill is. It's a lifesaver." Schwarzenegger said.
Actress and human rights activist Julia Ormond, who pushed for the bill says many victims are enslaved in industries that produce goods Californians use every day, such as coffee, chocolate, clothes, electronics, even the brake pads in cars.