Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike are reportedly among several U.S. mega-corporations to lobby against the United States government’s efforts to ban the import of products produced by slave labor in China.
The companies lobbied to weaken a bill introduced by Republicans to prevent American corporations from importing products made in Chinese labor camps, such as those in Xinjiang province, where over a million members of the Uyghur ethnic minority are reportedly imprisoned and forced to produce commercial goods for the communist state.
The bill they opposed 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,” Business Insider reports.
The news was first broken by the New York Times, which reported on the corporate lobbying effort against the bill aimed at penalizing China for its use of slave labor. Business Insider reports that of the three companies, Apple was the only one to push back on the NYT’s report, while Coca-Cola claims that it already prohibits forced labor in its supply chain.
A report from the Congressional Executive Commission in March named Nike and other companies as being suspected of relying on forced Chinese labor, reports the Washington Examiner.
A spokesperson for Nike denied that the company lobbied against the bill, but Business Insider reports that Nike claims it had “constructive discussions” with key staffers about the proposed law.
Despite the efforts of the corporations, the bill is expected to pass without opposition from either the Democrats or the Republicans. The bill passed through the House of Representatives and is set to be presented at the Senate when the next session begins.
Nike, which is well known for promoting social justice causes in the United States, exposed itself to hypocrisy by opposing a bill intended to terminate China’s use of forced labor and end its practice of persecuting so-called “prisoners of conscience.” Nike, famous for its “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” social justice campaign with Colin Kaepernick for racial justice, was noticeably silent about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.