The US has stepped up its campaign against manufacturers who exploit workers in so called sweatshops.

In a new development US customs have placed a ban on $1.5m worth of men's and women's apparel imports from a Chinese owned factory in Mongolia.

Dong Fang International was found by US investigators to be employing children and forcing them to work long hours for little pay.

The power under US law to bar goods manufactured using child labour is very rarely implemented. However, following the news earlier this month that a buying arm of the Pentagon had been purchasing apparel from the Chentex factory in Nicaragua, the government is under increasing pressure to clean up its textile trade.

Chentex was known to have illegally fired over 150 workers who wanted to establish a trade union.

In response to consumers demands, the government has now placed investigators in US embassies in countries where there is a strong suspicion of the use of sweatshops, and governments have been warned that unless they clean up their act then more imports may be barred.