News & Politics

GOP Sen. Hawley Introduces Anti-Slave-Labor Bill Aimed at China and 'Woke' Brands Like Nike and the NBA

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

China and American off-shoring corporations received a rude shock Monday morning when Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) introduced legislation “to hold American companies accountable for slave labor in their supply chains,” largely in Communist mainland China.

Sen. Hawley’s office says that The Slave-Free Business Certification Act “increases corporate supply chain disclosure requirements, mandates regular audits, requires Chief Executive Officers to certify that their companies’ supply chains do not rely on forced, slave labor, and creates penalties for firms that fail basic minimum standards for human rights.”

Hawley chided American companies, saying, “the celebrities that hawk their products have been playing this game for a long time – talk up corporate social responsibility and social justice at home while making millions of dollars off the slave labor that assembles their products.”

According to a press release from Sen. Hawley’s office, the Act will:

• Compels companies to disclose the steps they are taking to eradicate forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking from their supply chains

• Directs major companies to undergo independent audits to ensure they are not complicit in forced labor and trafficking in their supply chains

• Mandates public reports to the Department of Labor on the results of their independent audits

• Requires CEOs to certify that their supply chains are free from slave labor or that they have reported all instances of forced labor in their companies

The release also reminds us, “At least 80 global companies have been tied to forced Uighur labor in China, from sportswear companies like Nike, Adidas, and Puma to tech giants like Lenovo and Samsung.”

This isn’t the first time Hawley has introduced legislation taking aim at those who prey on the most vulnerable. In February of this year, the former Missouri attorney general “introduced legislation to reauthorize a provision of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (TVPRA) commissioning a two-part comprehensive federal study on trafficking in persons by the Department of Justice.”

Today Hawley called corporate America out for its obvious hypocrisies, telling them that “if corporate America wants to be the face of social change today, they should have to certify they are completely slave-free.”

China says: Equality for me but not for thee
 (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

 

We on the Right like to say, “Get woke, go broke,” but in fact, there are some very woke companies like Nike that have gotten quite rich using China’s and other overseas labor that would violate the anti-slavery 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Or as Hawley stated, “Executives build woke, progressive brands for American consumers, but happily outsource labor to Chinese concentration camps, all just to save a few bucks.”

The Left in past years went after Nike and others for using slave or sweatshop labor, which might account for how “woke” Nike became politically. It’s amazing how much slack for overseas offenses the Left will grant once someone starts supporting their pet causes here at home.

Hawley’s bill — aimed liked a laser at both Communist China and our own “progressive” big businesses — calls the Left to account while rallying patriots sick of getting ripped off by China.

Politically, Hawley’s bill seems like a no-brainer, so of course, various lefties have already gone off the rails.

What I’d like to see is more “Welcome to the cause!” and less Butwhataboutism, in order to get Hawley’s bill passed quickly into law.

Sadly, that doesn’t seem very likely given the reflexive hypocrisy we see so much of on the Left, and too many vested interests on both sides.

Your Friendly Neighborhood VodkaPundit™ isn’t usually a huge fan of burdensome regulation, but in this case, the burden has fallen for years on virtual or actual slave-laborers in mainland China, which has grown both increasingly totalitarian and belligerent in recent years.

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