The government may go after clothing manufacturers for the sins of their subcontractors, Labor Dept. sources say. Federal law prohibits the interstate sale of goods produced in violation of child-labor and wage-hour laws. The regulators believe many subcontractors that cut and sew apparel for brand-name manufacturers are flagrant violators of the rules, and Labor is sending letters to apparel makers advising them that they may be held liable. Sanctions include seizures of the goods. In 1991, the Customs Service targeted the industry for import-rule violations by subcontractors.

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