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Nike and Coca-Cola Lobby Against Xinjiang Forced Labor Bill

-Bobby Kincaid 12/1/20

Major companies like Apple have been pressing Congress to alter legislation to crackdown on imports of goods made with forced labor from persecuted Muslim minorities in China.

Nike and Coca-Cola are among the major companies and business groups lobbying Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region. The bill is called the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The bill, which would prohibit categories goods made by Muslim minorities Northeast China in an effort to limit human rights abuses. The bill has been very popular and has gained support. The Bill passed through the House in September 406 to 3. Congressional aides say the bill could pass the Senate, and could be signed into law by either the current Trump administration or the incoming Biden administration. While this bill may seem popular among congresspeople and businesses around the U.S, not everyone is interested in supporting this bill.

The legislation has been attacked by multinational companies. The major company is Apple whose supply chains extend to Xinjiang. Certain lobbyists have fought this bill. Lobbyists including apple say that forced labor and human rights abuses should not be condemned. On the contrary these lobbyists the act’s requirements could create serious problems for supply chains that are embedded in China and China’s Xinjiang province. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act would require Chinese companies exporting goods to the United States to analyze supply chains, or even abandon Chinese suppliers altogether. The bill would impose high standards on supply chains, stopping imports of goods made “in whole or in part” in Xinjiang unless companies prove to customs officials that their products were not made with forced labor.

It is important to discuss lobbying when considering businesses and management in the United States and throughout the world. We have discussed the importance of lobbying and the pros and cons to this practice. While many associate lobbying with corrupt government officials and greedy and profit-hungry businesses, lobbying is also used to promote safe trade and business methods. I think that what Coca-cola and Nike are doing is morally correct and important for workers and businesses around the world. These large corporations are showing that they back safe and fair working conditions. They are using their platform to promote good business practices. I think that if more companies based lobbying around promoting safer and more practical business habits, the world of trade could be safer for workers.

Swanson, Ana. “Nike and Coca-Cola Lobby Against Xinjiang Forced Labor Bill.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 29 Nov. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/11/29/business/economy/nike-coca-cola-xinjiang-forced-labor-bill.html. 

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