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December 7, 2020

Corporate Oligarchs Lobby for Less Restriction — on Slave Labor

Is it just “the cost of doing business,” or is it something more sinister?

Perhaps nothing better reveals what the American public is up against in terms of whether or not we remain a constitutional republic than the coordinated effort to blame the devastation arising from the coronavirus pandemic on the Trump administration. In short, the reality that communist China is the source of the scourge — and that its secretive and criminal behavior has exponentially exacerbated it — has been largely obscured. This is no accident. An American electorate focused on the true culprit of this ongoing calamity would present huge problems for our corporate oligarchy, which is so hellbent on maintaining “market share” with communist thugs that the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans is reduced to the cost of doing business.

How contemptible are these oligarchs? Several “American” companies, including Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola, are lobbying Congress to water down legislation aimed at barring the import of products made with Uyghur forced (read: slave) labor from China’s Xinjiang province.

Despite America being as divided as it has ever been, the level of bipartisan support for this bill is overwhelming. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, introduced by Representative James McGovern (D-MA) in September, sailed through the House in a 406-3 landslide vote.

Its purpose is clear. “Goods manufactured or produced in Xinjiang shall not be entitled to entry into the United States unless Customs and Border Protection (1) determines that the goods were not manufactured by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions; and (2) reports such a determination to Congress and to the public,” it states.

After that it gets exceedingly “interesting,” especially if Joe Biden ultimately gets to the Oval Office. That’s because it also requires the president to periodically report to Congress a list of foreign entities and individuals knowingly facilitating the use of forced labor, and impose property- and visa-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals and entities.

If the New York Post’s exposé of Hunter Biden’s involvement with Chinese companies is even remotely accurate, including the more than $1 billion windfall received by his business venture just days after visiting Beijing with his father, it is conceivable that such a bill, if it is ultimately passed by the Senate, might be further watered down by the “Big Guy” himself.

In the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs, Biden asserts that America needs to “get tough” with China — and then states the way to do so “is to build a united front of U.S. allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behaviors and human rights violations, even as we seek to cooperate with Beijing on issues where our interests converge, such as climate change, nonproliferation, and global health security.”

If that sounds like typical bureaucratic doublespeak that keeps the door wide open for reinstating the America last, globalist oligarch status quo — that’s because it is.

Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, is indicative. Blinken cofounded WestExec Advisors, a company whose website boasts about helping a “leading American pharmaceutical company” and a multibillion-dollar American technology firm expand their Chinese market share. And in 2015, during his tenure as the deputy secretary of state in the Obama-Biden administration, Blinken praised China’s counterterrorism efforts, saying that nation “warily guards against the growing pull of extremist ideology among its youth.”

Now that those efforts include forced sterilizations and abortions, as well as concentration camps and forced labor? Salih Hudayar, prime minister of East Turkistan’s government in-exile, fears these blatant human rights violations will be papered over by a Biden administration and its apologist approach to the communist regime. “We fear that it’s just going to give China the green light to continue its brutal campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan,” he warned.

Hudayar also offered his take on the efforts by corporate America to water down the Uyghur Forced Labor Act, saying, “They’re just trying to — thinking from a strictly business perspective — maximize their profits.” He also noted the inherent contradiction of those companies denying they use slave labor, even as they tried to undermine legislation against it. “If they weren’t using forced labor, why are they pushing against this bill?”

According to The New York Times, double talk prevails: “Lobbyists have fought to water down some of [the Act’s] provisions, arguing that while they strongly condemn forced labor and current atrocities in Xinjiang, the act’s ambitious requirements could wreak havoc on supply chains that are deeply embedded in China.”

Those would be the same multinational-supported supply chains that have made America unconscionably vulnerable to the whims of Beijing. It took a pandemic for Americans to learn their nation relies on Chinese supply chains for critical drugs, and that the last American plant producing penicillin was Bristol-Myers Squibb, which closed its factory in East Syracuse, New York, in 2004. China also has a monopoly on rare earths that comprise the components of cars, dishwashers, military equipment, and magnets, as America’s last major producer, Molycorp, went bankrupt in 2015.

What kind of nation allows itself to become dependent on its chief adversary for critical needs? One run by people with unprecedented levels of wealth and wholesale contempt for patriotism, national security, and the nation-state itself — even as they remain wholly insulated from any consequences of their odious machinations. Thus, while Coca-Cola lobbies against the Uyghur Forced Labor Act, it insists it “strictly prohibits any type of forced labor in our supply chain” and employs third-party auditors to enforce the policy. Nike spokesperson Greg Rossiter said the company was not “lobbying against” the bill but was rather in “constructive discussions” with Congress. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce asserts the legislation was well-intentioned but missed the mark. Apple CEO Tim Cook insists his company does not employ forced laborers. “We would not tolerate it in Apple,” he said, adding that Apple would “terminate a supplier relationship if it were found.”

One suspects that Apple, along with other multinationals, isn’t looking too hard. And while Cook insists Apple supports the legislation, two congressional staffers who worked with the company’s lobbyists said they are trying to weaken the bill. Moreover, now that the bill, sponsored in the House by Jim McGovern (D-MA) and in the Senate by Marco Rubio (R-FL), has moved to the upper chamber, those efforts are allegedly intensifying.

Yet there’s a question no one appears to be asking. Why is this legislation geographically limited to the Xinjiang province? What’s to stop China from relocating what amounts to slave labor to any location of its choosing, especially if it enables this contemptible construct to remain intact?

The bet here is that no one in our corporate-controlled media will ask. Thus, Americans will continue to endure corporate virtue signaling about the need to end nonexistent “systemic” racism in America, even as those same corporations abide slave labor in China. And Congress, equally bipartisan when it comes to taking corporate campaign donations, will propose largely toothless legislation to accommodate them.

In short, it’s the perfect storm — of quid pro quo corruption.

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