On Wednesday evening, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) blocked a bill that would ban goods made using forced labor in China's Xinjiang region - after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) refused to tack on an unrelated extension of the child tax credit.
What the Daily Caller uncovered, however, is that top Nike executives funneled more than $60,000 to Wyden's re-election campaign over the course of just 16 days in September. The company has donated approximately $188,000 to his campaigns since 1989, making the apparel company his top contributor.
Nike executives previously gave large sums of cash to Wyden’s campaign. In December 2015, amid another Wyden re-election campaign, Parker, the company’s CEO at the time, and 11 other Nike executives gave contributions totaling $39,000 to the Oregon Democrat. -Daily Caller
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act was passed unanimously in the House on Tuesday, while the Senate was expected to also approve before sending it to the desk of President Biden - who vowed to sign the bill once passed by both chambers, in order to "ensure global supply chains are free of forced labor."
The bill would require companies which import products from factories in the Xinjiang province to provide "clear and convincing evidence" that the products weren't tied to forced labor.
Nike, a major benefactor of Wyden, was one of several corporations to lobby against the bill, The New York Times previously reported. A March 2020 report from the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) concluded that the Oregon-based athletic apparel giant was one of several corporations suspected to either directly employ forced labor or source materials from suppliers using forced labor in Xinjiang.
Between Sept. 15-30, 10 Nike executives including CEO John Donahoe and Executive Chairman Mark Parker each made two $2,900 contributions to Wyden, according to federal elections campaign data. Scott Uzzell, the CEO of Nike subsidiary Converse, made a single contribution of $2,900. -Daily Caller
In total, Wyden received $60,900 over the span of approximately two weeks.