The news is out: [Nike, Coca-Cola, and Apple all sought to weaken proposed legislation aimed at barring US companies from relying on the forced labor of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang region, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would ban US companies from importing a wide range of goods made in Xinjiang, where China has been accused of mass human rights violations unless companies can prove that the goods weren’t made using forced labor.
The bill passed the House in September by a margin of 406 to 3, and aides told The Times that it has enough support to pass the Senate.
Other companies and trade groups, including HSBC, American Apparel, the National Retail Federation, and the US Chamber of Commerce also lobbied on the bill, according to lobbying disclosure forms.
Human rights groups, media reports, and other independent researchers have extensively documented China’s mass surveillance and detainment of as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minority groups in internment camps, where reports allege they are subjected to torture, sexual abuse, and forced labor for little or no pay.
In March, a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which estimated that 80,000 Uighurs have been forcibly relocated to factories across China, found evidence of forced Uighur labor at four separate factories in Apple’s supply chain as well as the supply chains of Nike, BMW, and Amazon.
Also in March, the Congressional-Executive Commission said in a report that Nike and Coca-Cola, as well as major brands such as Adidas, Campbell Soup, Costco, H&M, Kraft Heinz, Patagonia, and Tommy Hilfiger, were suspected of relying on forced Chinese labor.]
Slavery is not over in 2020. People buying products from these corporations are supporting it.