Nike Executives Supported Politician Who Voted to Stop New Law

Nike Executives Supported Politician Who Voted to Stop New Law

( – For years, US lawmakers and companies have known about China’s horrific actions and genocide against Uyghurs in its Xinjiang region. Investigators have documented forced slave labor in the region, and now Americans are calling for it to end. One way to try and stop the gross practice is a new piece of legislation designed to make companies prove their manufacturers did not use slave labor to make their goods. Yet, Nike and some other major companies have been pushing to stop this bill in some sneaky ways.

Nike Funnels Thousands to Oregon Senator

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Nike executives donated $60,900 to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in September for his reelection campaign. Wyden is one of the few lawmakers who opposed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and many Americans do not think this is a coincidence.

Nike claims that it does not source its products using slave labor. However, a March 2020 report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said the Oregon-based company was one of many who likely used forced labor to produce their products.

Nike Also Lobbies in the Senate

On top of its direct support for Wyden, Nike spent over $1.2 million in generic lobbying for the Senate in the past year. While the specific allocation of this money is unclear, much likely went to stalling the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Following the money trail, it is quite clear that Nike is pushing back on the bill for some reason, likely because it will cut into their profits down the road as they try to revamp their supply chains. Despite their attempt to stop it, though, the Senate was finally able to pass the bill on Thursday, December 16, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law.

This For That: How the Bill Eventually Past

Wyden originally said he would vote against the bill until Congress extended the child tax credit that is set to expire on January 1. However, many other lawmakers criticized him for slowing a bipartisan bill for something completely unrelated. According to the Washington Examiner, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) also voted against the bill, only agreeing to support it after the Senate confirmed some of President Biden’s recent nominations.

Sadly, politics often involves a lot of favors and exchanges in order to get bills through Congress. Thankfully, Senators were able to reach a compromise this week to pass the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, hopefully cutting down on the demand for goods produced from slave labor. Of course, citizens can always choose to do their own research about a brand and whether or not they ethically source their products before making a purchase. Only with due diligence on all levels will such horrific acts come to an end.

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