-By Ankita Dutta.
Lawmakers from the US House of Representatives have requested information from several companies, including Nike and Adidas, regarding their importation of products derived from forced labor in China. The request was made by Republican Representative Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, who serve as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.
The lawmakers wrote letters to the companies, asking for a range of information, including details on the sourcing of materials used in their products and the steps they have taken to examine their supply chains since Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act in 2021. The law bans goods from Xinjiang, China, from being imported into the US, as it is believed that these products are a result of forced labor.
China has been accused of committing human rights abuses against the Uyghurs, a Muslim-minority group. The country has repeatedly denied these allegations. The US lawmakers’ letters are part of an effort to hold companies accountable for their role in perpetuating these conditions.
In a hearing held in March, it was claimed by specialists that both Nike and Adidas had obtained clothing items manufactured from substances that originated in Xinjiang. The lawmakers argued that continuing to import goods that are produced with the forced labor of Uyghurs violates the UFLPA and allows the Chinese Communist Party to continue committing genocide. In response to the letters, Adidas has yet to comment, but the company’s shares have declined as much as 0.7% in early German trading. Nike has not responded to the request for comment as of Tuesday night. Shein, another company that the lawmakers wrote to, released a statement saying that it has no suppliers in the Xinjiang region and has a “zero tolerance” policy for forced labor.