September 30, 2022

Biden signs bill banning the importation of products made with slave labor

President Joe Biden signed into law a bill that bans importing products made by slave labor on Thursday, according to The Daily Caller

The bill will effectively ban imports from the Xinjiang region of China, where Uyghurs are held in internet camps. The bill bans imports from the region and “imposes sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for forced labor in the region,” the White House announced.

Biden signed the bill, despite pushback from major companies such as Apple and Nike. 

“Nike executives donated more than $60,000 in September to the re-election campaign of Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, who blocked the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which the House passed unanimously, Breitbart News reported. 

The bill was a success, however, due in no small part to a report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China from March of this year, which found that Nike was one of several who was suspected of employing forced labor or materials from suppliers using forced labor. 

While Nike denied the claim, saying they did not source from the region where the human rights violations were being enacted and said in their statement they wouldn’t do such a thing: 

Nike said that they “have confirmed with our contract suppliers that they are not using textiles or spun yarn from the region.”

However, disclosures that were filed with Congress in April show that Apple and several retail trade groups went so far as to lobby lawmakers in the first quarter of this year to oppose the bill. 

They were against the legislation that would ban American companies from using forced labor to produce their products in the Xinjiang region, and The Washington Post reported in 2020 that one of Applies suppliers uses forced labor to make the glass screens for iPhones. 

Apple, like Nike, has denied the allegations, but according to The Post’s report, last year the firm hired by Apple did meet with congressional aides to change the language in the Uyghur bill.

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