In 2000, Nike and other major clothing corporations renamed the Apparel Industry Partnership (AIP) the Fair Labor Association (FLA), in large part to compete with the WRC. The AIP, an initiative of the Clinton administration, had become a discredited organization, because all non-profit organizations and unions that had initially supported it, withdrew from it, with the exception of the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF).
United Students Against Sweatshops is widely viewed as the largest anti-sweatshop community group in the United States and Canada. It was formed in 1997 as part of a broader anti-sweatshop movement increasingly popular in North America. This movement exhibited a great degree of skepticism of free trade practices, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA).
Focusing on domestic as well as international sweatshops, the group has built coalitions of students, labor groups, workers, and community members that focus on a broad range of campaigns:
The group is based on the idea that students and community members should have control over the conditions under which their clothes are manufactured. Because universities license their logo to clothing manufacturers, such as Nike, who then subcontract orders to other companies that further subcontract work to thousands of different factories, the group considers the licensing stage as the most efficient way to control production. USAS also emphasizes working in solidarity with workers in sweatshops or on college campuses by supporting workers organizing themselves for better conditions.
The group has taken as its motto the quote "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together" by the aboriginal Australian activist Lilla Watson.
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