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Representative image

US bipartisan committee urges NBA to end deals with Chinese firms over forced labor issue

ANI | Updated: Jun 03, 2021 18:24 IST

Washington DC [US], June 3 (ANI): A US bipartisan parliamentary executive committee on China has sent a letter to the National Basketball Association (NBA), asking players to drop contracts with companies that use materials manufactured in Chinese slave labor camps.
The commission urged the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to educate their members about the use of forced labor in the making of sportswear in China and the US government's determination that genocide and crimes against humanity are being committed by the Chinese government.
It has also highlighted how that Chinese sportswear companies like Anta, Li-Ning, and Peak have all affirmed that they use cotton produced in the Xinjiang region.
"We believe that commercial relationships with companies that source cotton in Xinjiang create reputational risks for NBA players and the NBA itself. The US State Department has determined that the Chinese government is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, including the mass internment of over a million primarily Muslim ethnic minorities and the systematic use of forced labor to make goods for global export," the letter by Congressional-Executive Commission on China read.
The Chairs of the Commission encouraged NBA players to end their endorsement deals with Chinese sportswear companies if they continue to use Xinjiang cotton.
According to an official release, the Chairs are the sponsors of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which would prohibit the import of all goods from the Xinjiang Chinese autonomous region (XUAR) until there is evidence that forced labor is no longer being employed in the region.
As the Congressional-Executive Commission on China has documented, since 2018, reporting has revealed that authorities in Xinjiang have systematically forced predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and others, to engage in forced labor throughout China.
There is credible evidence that forced labor exists in Xinjiang's cotton production. Ethnic minority workers who pick cotton in Xinjiang are subjected to close monitoring and control, and individuals have been detained for refusing to take part in such work programs, the release said. (ANI)