Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China, drawing attention the clash between is business imperatives and its official stance on human rights.
The ‘Uyghur forced labor prevention act’ would require US companies to guarantee they do not use imprisoned or coerced workers from the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang, where academic researchers estimate the Chinese government has placed more than 1 million people into internment camps. Apple is heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturing, and human rights reports have identified instances which alleged forced Uighur labor has been used in Apple’s supply chain.
According to the Washington Post, Apple was one of the many US companies that oppose the bill as it is written. Apple’s attempts are directed towards watering down the bill to a more suitable and business friendly version.
In a nutshell this bill stops US companies from using forced labor from the Uyghur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, it also requires the US government to use sanctions and diplomatic actions to try to stop the practice and punish the people involved.
One provision in the bill requires public companies to certify to the Securities and Exchange commission that their products are not made using forced labor from the region, they could be prosecuted for security violations!