Nike, Shein, and Temu Receive Forced Labor Warning From United States Government
Nike, Shein, and Temu, which are apparel companies headquartered in the United States, received a warning from the U.S. government over forced labor in China
The U.S. House of Representatives China Committee has “queried” the three apparel and apparel retail brands over forced labor in China, quizzing the entities over whether or not Uyghur Turks who are in captivity in Chinese Communist concentration camps are forced to manufacture their products, Bloomberg reported.
House Chinese Communist Party Committee Chairman Republican Representative Mike Gallagher and Chinese Communist Party panel’s lead Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi both sent letters to the companies on Tuesday, May 2, Bloomberg Law reported.
During their query, lawmakers reportedly asked Nike, Shein, and Temu if the materials used in their products were derived from the Xinjiang region of Western China. This region is the area where the Chinese Communist regime has cracked down violently on Turkish settlements, and has reportedly forced many Uyghurs into Concentration camps and labor camps, the United States Bureau of International Labor Affairs reported.
“The People's Republic of China has arbitrarily detained more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in China's far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” the U.S. International Labor Bureau wrote.
Uyghurs who have escaped the Chinese regime explained to Overt Operator that, while they were aware of relatives trapped within the regime’s work camps, they weren’t clear on what brands their forced production was sold to.
The U.S. House China Committee’s query of Nike, Sheen, and Temu follows a series of discoveries of fashion brands benefiting from forced Uyghur labor. In July 2021, The New York Times reported that France’s government had made its inquiry into the labor affairs of international fashion retailers doing business in France that allegedly benefited from forced labor.
As the issue comes to the forefront of public attention, following recent activity in Congress to crack down on the Chinese Communist regime’s entanglement in U.S. domestic affairs, lawmakers urged the Security Exchange Commission to “crack down” on Shein, NBC News reported. A bipartisan mix of lawmakers reportedly petitioned the SEC to crack down on the Chinese national-owned e-commerce giant, ahead of its possible U.S. Initial Public Offering.
Congressman John Rose (R.TN) issued a press release on May 1 announcing that he and a series of Congressmembers had sent a letter to the SEC calling on Shein, as a Chinese company and “the world’s largest fast-fashion company” to certify that their products do not use Uyghur forced labor.
Tahir Imim Uyghurian, an Uyghur civil rights activist and founder of the Uyghur Children's Fund, explained what the United States government should, in his view, do to take significant action:
“I believe that, in order to combat the issue of Uyghur forced labor, it is essential for the U.S. government to take action against American companies that are involved in this practice,” Uyghurian explained to Overt Operator in a written response.
“The Chinese government has been exploiting a significant number of young Uyghurs through forced labor in order to benefit the CCP’s regime. It is important for American consumers to be aware that many cheap products manufactured in China may have been produced by Uyghur individuals, including 30 members of my own family,” Uyghurian added, explaining that many of the forced labor force is compelled to work over 14 hours per day in “deplorable conditions” with both police and tech surveillance present in their factories.
“By refraining from purchasing such products and preventing companies from utilizing cheap and forced labor, we as Americans can do our part to combat this issue of forced labor,” Uyghurian wrote.
Financial leaders have responded positively to Congress’ efforts to crack down on the abuse of Uyghur populations in making products sold within the U.S:
“We strongly support this bipartisan effort to force U.S. stock exchanges to protect human rights and it’s past time for them to stop allowing CCP-controlled companies like this to access our markets,” said President & CEO of the American Securities Association Chris Iacovella, as he was quoted by the public affairs offices of Representative Rose on May 1.
The latest developments on the U.S. crackdown on Chinese national businesses follow a trend of enforcement of the policy on human rights and national security. Earlier this year, U.S. lawmakers also brought in the CEO of TikTok for a panel of questioning on the use of American civilian data. The hearing was broadcast by C-SPAN.