* Karen Smith is a Notes & Comments Editor for the Boston College International and Comparative Law Review.
1 See Robert Liubicic, Corporate Codes of Conduct and Product Labeling Schemes: The Limits and Possibilities of Promoting International Labor Rights Through Private Initiatives, 30 Law & Pol’y Int’l Bus. 111, 157 (1998).
2 Id. at 125.
3 Id. at 125–26. Similar groups also have been created in other countries to do similar work in specific industries. For example, RUGMARK, created by Indian human rights and industry groups, targets the South Asian rug and carpet industry. FIFA targets the overseas soccer ball industry. Id. at 129–31.
4 Id. at 128–29.
5 See Marybeth Herald, The Northern Mariana Islands: A Change in Course Under its Covenant with the United States, 71 Or. L. Rev. 127, 154–62 (1992).
6 See id.
7 Id. at 127.
8 Policies Related to the Controversial Garment Industry in the Northern Mariana Islands: Oversight Hearing Before the House Subcomm. on Interior and Insular Affairs, 102d Cong. (1992) (statement of L.F. Payne). “The ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label is more than a geographical marker. It stands for pride in workmanship and ownership and it signifies something more. It symbolizes the safety and dignity of working in good paying jobs. It is not to be taken lightly.” Id.
9 Id.
10 Bruce V. Bigelow, 8 U.S. Clothing Firms To Settle Suit Alleging Sweatshops in Saipan, San Diego Union-Tribune, Mar. 29, 2000, at C2.
11 See, e.g., Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1052, 106th Cong. (1999); Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1275, 105th Cong. (1999).
12 See id.
13 See, e.g., Immigration and Labor Problems in Marianas: Hearing on S. 1052 Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 105th Cong. (1999) (statement of Lynn A. Knight, Vice President, Saipan Chamber of Commerce) [hereinafter Knight Statement]; Extending U.S. Immigration & Wage Laws to Marianas: Before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 104th Cong. (1998) (statement of Pedro Tenorio, Governor) [hereinafter Tenorio Statement].
14 Juliet Eilperin, A ‘Petri dish’ in the Pacific; Conservative Network Aligned with DeLay Makes Marianas a Profitable Course, Wash. Post, July 26, 2000, at A10, available at LEXIS, News Group File (referring to interview with Senator Tom DeLay in which he also described the islands as his “Galapagos Island”).
15 Herald, supra note 5, at 154–62.
16 Northern Mariana Islands Commission on Federal Laws, Welcoming America’s Newest Commonwealth 2 (1985) (Second Interim Report of the Northern Mariana Islands Commission on Federal Laws to the Congress of the United States) [hereinafter NMI Commission].
17 Id. at 3; Rhode Island, at http://infoplease.lycos.com/ipa/A0108266.html (last visited Apr. 10, 2000).
18 NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 3.
19 Id. at 13.
20 Id. at 13–14.
21 Id. at 14.
22 Id. at 9. The principal native groups in the Northern Mariana Islands are the Chamarros and the Carolinians. Id. at 6.
23 NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 9.
24 Id. at 10. It was decided that “the Northern Marianas and other islands of the former Japanese mandate would become a ‘strategic’ trusteeship under Article 83 of the United Nations Charter.” Id. The other islands in the Trusteeship included Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. Herald, supra note 5, at 132.
25 Id.
26 Id.
27 Id. at 133.
28 Id.; NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 11.
29 NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 11.
30 Id. at 12.
31 Id. at i.
32 Herald, supra note 5, at 135; see generally Act of Mar. 24, 1976, Pub. L. No. 94–241, 90 Stat. 263 (codified as amended at 48 U.S.C.  1681 (1988)) [hereinafter Covenant].
33 Herald, supra note 5, at 135; see generally Covenant, supra note 32.
34 See Covenant, supra note 32, at  503(a),(c).
35 See generally Lizabeth A. McKibben, The Political Relationship Between the United States and Pacific Islands Entities: The Path to Self-Government in the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau and Guam, 31 Harv. Int’l L.J. 257 (1990).
36 Id. at 257 (discussion of “territorial incorporation”); see also Sims v. Sims, 175 U.S. 162, 168 (1899) (“In the territories of the United States, Congress has the entire dominion and sovereignty, national and local, Federal and state, and has full legislative power over all subjects upon which the legislature of a State might legislate within the State . . . .”).
37 McKibben, supra note 35, at 260–62.
38 Id. at 262.
39 Id. at 260, 262.
40 Id. at 258.
41 Id.
42 McKibben, supra note 35, at 258.
43 Id. at 260.
44 Id.
45 See generally id.
46 Id. at 272. McKibben also notes that the U.S. retained some power in order to protect its own strategic interests in the area. Id.
47 Herald, supra note 5, at 137.
48 NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 4, tbl.1.
49 Greg Holloway, The Effort to Stop Abuse of Foreign Workers in the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 6 Pac. Rim L. & Pol’y J. 391, 397. All monetary references are to U.S. currency.
50 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 13 (1998).
51 Territories and Freely Associated States: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, S. HRG. 104–702, 104th Cong., 2d sess. (1996) (statement of Sebastian Aloot, Acting Attorney General, CNMI) [hereinafter Aloot Statement].
52 See id.
53 Herald, supra note 5, at 145; see also S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 13. One company was established in 1983, and two others followed within a year. S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 13. In total 250 workers were employed there, 100 of which were U.S. citizens. Id.
54 Herald, supra note 5, at 145.
55 Michael Doyle, Radinovich Will Travel to Northern Marianas; Group Wants Lawmakers to Hear its Side of Dispute, Fresno Bee, Jan. 6, 2000, at B1.
56 Herald, supra note 5, at 145.
57 Id.
58 Id.; Immigration and Labor Problems in Marianas: Hearing on S. 1052 Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 105th Cong. (1999) (statement of Carlos Moore) [hereinafter Moore Statement].
59 Jonathan Fox, Sweating it Out in Saipan, Dallas Observer, Apr. 20, 2000, available at LEXIS, News Group File.
60 Moore Statement, supra note 58.
61 See generally Northern Mariana Islands: Before the House Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 105th Cong. (1999) (statement of Steven Galster, Executive Director, Global Survival Network) [hereinafter Galster Statement].
62 Id.
63 Northern Mariana Islands: Before the House Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 105th Cong. (1999) (statement of John Fraser, Deputy Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Dep’t. of Labor) [hereinafter Fraser Statement].
64 Extending U.S. Immigration & Wage Laws to Marianas: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 104th Cong. (1998) (written statement of Sui Jian Wei) [hereinafter Sui Jian Wei Statement].
65 Id.
66 Galster Statement, supra note 61.
67 Id.
68 Fraser Statement, supra note 63.
69 Id. The complaining countries include Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. Id.
70 Id. An important note, however, is that the DOL’s Wage Hour Division only has the authority to investigate non-payment of overtime wages referred from the CNMI DOLI, or directly from workers—and it only investigates businesses paying more than $500,000 in wages. Galster Statement, supra note 61, n.1. Neither agency has the authority to investigate cases of unpaid regular wages. Id.
71 Fraser Statement, supra note 63.
72 Id. One DOL action in 1999 fined the Micronesian Garment Manufacturing Co./Diorava Saipan Ltd. for failing to pay wages for the second time in one year. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, OPA Press Release: U.S. Labor Department Gets Back Nearly $1 Million for Saipan Garment Workers; Second Time in One Year Manufacturer Pays Back Wages, at http://www. dol.gov/dol/opa/public/media/press/opa/opa99111.htm (Apr. 22, 1999). The fine included $986,661 in back wages to 336 workers for violations of overtime laws, as well as $336,000 in punitive damages for repeated and willful violations of the FLSA. Id. In 1998, the department had recovered a total of $560,000 in back wages for 427 workers at the same factory. Id.
73 Fraser Statement, supra note 63.
74 Id.
75 Id.
76 U.S. Dep’t of Labor, ESA Press Release: U.S. Department of Labor Crack Down on Labor Law Violations in Saipan Results in More Court Actions, at http://www.dol.gov/dol/opa/pub-lic/media/press/esa/esa98125.htm (Mar. 27, 1998).
77 Mark Shields, “Made in the USA” Is At Heart of the Second Battle of Saipan, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 18, 1998. The article quotes Senator George Miller explaining, “Let’s be clear. Foreign workers using foreign cloth under the eyes of foreign supervisors are working in a foreign-owned factory producing garments into which they sew a label that reads, ‘Made in the U.S.A.’, and that is the only reason these foreign factories are there—to escape U.S. duties and quotas imposed by the Congress to protect U.S. jobs.” Id.
78 See id.
79 NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 20.
80 Id. Similar problems always have been prevalent in the CNMI because the territory’s geography precludes it from enjoying any economies of scale. Id.
81 Id.
82 Herald, supra note 5, at 151.
83 Id.
84 Covenant, supra note 32, at  503(a).
85 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 14; NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 20.
86 NMI Commission, supra note 16, at 20.
87 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 14; Doyle, supra note 55, at B1.
88 Id.; Moore Statement, supra note 58.
89 See Extending U.S. Immigration & Wage Laws to Marianas: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 104th Cong. (1998) (statement of Hon. George Miller, Senior Democratic Member, House Committee on Resources) [hereinafter Miller Statement]: “The foreign contract workers pay staggering amounts of money because they believe they are going to America, with all the dreams and opportunities people around the world associate with that journey.” See id.
90 Galster Statement, supra note 61.
91 Id.
92 Id.
93 Id. Sometimes recruiters are deceitful, and immigrants to the CNMI arrive only to find that no job really exists. Id. The more common problem with women is that when they arrive, they find that their jobs are not in factories, but rather in prostitution—and they are forced to comply. Id.
94 Id.
95 Fox, supra note 59.
96 Herald, supra note 5, at 154–62.
97 See Northern Mariana Islands: Before the House Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 105th Cong. (1999) (statement of Nicholas Gess, Assoc. Dep. Att’y General) [hereinafter Gess Statement].
98 See, e.g., Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1052, supra note 11; Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1275, supra note 11.
99 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
100 Id.
101 S. Rep. No. 105–201, at 20.
102 See, e.g., Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1052, supra note 11; Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1275, supra note 11.
103 See id.
104 H.R. Con. Res. 164, 105th Cong. (1997).
105 United States-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Human Dignity Act, H.R. 730, 106th Cong. (1999).
106 Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Reform Act, S. 1100, 105th Cong. (1997); Insular Fair Wage and Human Rights Act of 1997, H.R. 1450, 105th Cong. (1997).
107 Immigration and Labor Problems in the Marianas: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 106th Cong. (1999) (statement of Diego T. Benavente, Speaker, House of Representatives, Eleventh Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Legislature) [hereinafter Benavente Statement].
108 S. Rep. No. 105–201, at 12. The new law also would have required the CNMI to try to identify, and then either exclude or deport, any immigrant posing a security or law enforcement risk to the CNMI. See id.
109 Id.
110 Id.
111 Id.
112 Id.
113 S. Rep. No. 105–201, at 13. The Committee determined that “the CNMI [was] unlikely to on its own correct the problems inherent in its immigration system.” Id.
114 Id.
115 Id. at 1.
116 Id. at 2–6.
117 Id. at 14.
118 S. Rep. No. 105–201, at 16.
119 Id.
120 Id. at 13, 15.
121 Id. at 15.
122 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 18 (explaining that the committee’s recommendation in May was followed by a letter from the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, the Interior, and the Attorney General asking for action on the proposal; however, the Senate was not able to consider the legislation before adjourning).
123 Northern Marianas Implementation Act, S. 1052, supra note 11.
124 Id.
125 146 Cong. Rec. S370 (Feb. 7, 2000).
126 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 20.
127 Id. at 21.
128 Id. at 23.
129 Id. at 26.
130 146 Cong. Rec. S370 (Feb. 7, 2000).
131 See generally Immigration and Labor Problems in the Marianas: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 106th Cong. (1999); Northern Mariana Islands: Before the House Comm. on Resources, 105th Cong. (1999).
132 See generally Immigration and Labor Problems in the Marianas: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, supra note 131; Northern Mariana Islands: Before the House Comm. on Resources, supra note 131.
133 See generally Immigration and Labor Problems in the Marianas: Hearing Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, supra note 131; Northern Mariana Islands: Before the House Comm. on Resources, supra note 131.
134 Galster Statement, supra note 61.
135 Id.
136 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
137 Id.; see also S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 13 (explaining that the primary need for alien workers at that time was in construction, an industry in which temporary jobs were already allowed under federal immigration law).
138 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 12. The Senate Committee’s report on the original Covenant noted that “this provision is included to cope with the problems which unrestricted immigration may impose on small island communities.” Id. at 12, quoting S. Rep. No. 94–433, at 77–78.
139 Fraser Statement, supra note 63.
140 Id.
141 Id.
142 Herald, supra note 5, at 155.
143 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
144 Id.
145 Id.
146 Id.
147 Id.
148 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
149 Id.
150 Id.
151 Id.
152 Id. For example, members of Chinese and Japanese gangs are routinely admitted into the CNMI despite the fact that they are known to be narcotics dealers. Id.
153 S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 19.
154 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
155 Galster Statement, supra note 61.
156 Id.
157 Fraser Statement, supra note 63.
158 Id.
159 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
160 Id.
161 Id.
162 Galster Statement, supra note 61.
163 Gess Statement, supra note 97.
164 Extending U.S. Immigration & Wage Laws to Marianas: Before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 104th Cong. (1998) (statement of Juan Babauta) [hereinafter Babauta Statement].
165 Id.
166 Herald, supra note 5, at 135.
167 Knight Statement, supra note 13.
168 Id.
169 Id.
170 Benavente Statement, supra note 107. But Benavente’s statement admits that “along the way, however, we began bringing in other guest workers that, in retrospect, we did not need but whom we allowed to work and enter simply because our immigration laws and policies were not restrictive enough to exclude [them].” Id.
171 Id.
172 Id.; Fraser Statement, supra note 63 (mentioning CNMI officials’ contention that the number of nonresident aliens admitted each year has decreased from 34,000 to 26,000).
173 Benavente Statement, supra note 107.
174 Id.
175 Id. Benavente noted that this new law was controversial because businesses complained that they would bear the expense of hiring and training new workers every three years. Id.
176 Id.
177 Benavente Statement, supra note 107.
178 Id.
179 Id.
180 Id.
181 Id.
182 Benavente Statement, supra note 107.
183 Id.
184 Babauta Statement, supra note 164.
185 Id.
186 Id.
187 Knight Statement, supra note 13.
188 Tenorio Statement, supra note 13.
189 Knight Statement, supra note 13.
190 Id. (explaining that, in 1999 tourism was down 30%; garment manufacturers lost 25% of orders; automotive sales were down 50%; and one in every ten businesses had closed).
191 Id.
192 See generally Northern Mariana Islands: Hearing Before the House Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 106th Cong. (1999) (statement of Christian Wei, President, Christian Way Missions, Inc.) [hereinafter Wei Statement]; Northern Mariana Islands: Hearing Before the House Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 106th Cong. (1999) (statement of Rev. Raymond Kinsella, President, Grace Christian Ministries) [hereinafter Kinsella Statement].
193 Wei Statement, supra note 192.
194 Kinsella Statement, supra note 192.
195 Id.
196 Babauta Statement, supra note 164.
197 Id.
198 Id.
199 Id.
200 Knight Statement, supra note 13.
201 Kinsella Statement, supra note 192.
202 Tenorio Statement, supra note 13.
203 Id.
204 Benavente Statement, supra note 107; Tenorio Statement, supra note 13.
205 Benavente Statement, supra note 107 (comparing CNMI wage review committees to those used in American Samoa).
206 Fraser Statement, supra note 63.
207 Benavente Statement, supra note 107.
208 Id.
209 Id.
210 Id.
211 Id.
212 Benavente Statement, supra note 107.
213 See S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 20.
214 See Aloot Statement, supra note 51.
215 See id.
216 Knight Statement, supra note 13 (explaining that any proposed federal legislation is perceived as a threat).
217 Id.
218 See id.
219 Knight Statement, supra note 13.
220 Id.
221 Extending U.S. Immigration & Wage Laws to Marianas: Before the Senate Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources, 105th Cong. (1998) (statement of Ron Sablan, Hotel Association of the NMI).
222 See S. Rep. No. 105–201, at 13.
223 Id.
224 Id.
225 Aloot Statement, supra note 51, at 93.
226 See Knight, supra note 13 (describing potential strain on business).
227 See Babauta Statement, supra note 164.
228 See id.
229 See Benavente Statement, supra note 107 (detailing steps already taken by the CNMI).
230 See Galster Statement, supra note 61.
231 See id.
232 See Gess Statement, supra note 97.
233 See S. Rep. No. 106–204, at 19.
234 See Galster Statement, supra note 61.
235 Id.
236 See id.
237 Northern Mariana Islands Covenant Implementation Act, S. 1052 (1999). The bill details the process for admitting temporary alien workers, immigrants, nonimmigrant investor visas. See id.
238 Id.
239 See id.
240 See generally Herald, supra note 5, at 154–62.
241 See id.; see also Galster Statement, supra note 61.
242 See Galster Statement, supra note 61.
243 Id.
244 Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1052,  1.
245 Id.
246 See id.; see also Galster Statement, supra note 61.
247 Galster Statement, supra note 61.
248 See Gess Statement, supra note 97.
249 See Sui Jian Wei Statement, supra note 64.
250 Id.
251 Id.
252 Id.
253 See generally Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1052.
254 See id. at 1(b)(2). One of the bill’s stated goals is “to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, potential adverse effects this orderly phase-out might have on the economy in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” Id.
255 See id. at  1(b)(2)(A–E).
256 See id. at  2(a), incorporating new  6(b).
257 Northern Mariana Islands Implementation Act, S. 1052, at  6(a), (d)(2)(A).
258 Id. at  2(c).
259 Id.
260 Id. at  2(c)(1).
261 Id. at  2(c)(2).