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EV makers’ use of Chinese suppliers raises concerns about forced labor

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Tesla, despite commitments against forced labor, has been silent on concerns about the sourcing of materials from China's Xinjiang region, notorious for forced labor practices
• This lack of transparency and action is not limited to Tesla, as Ford and Volkswagen also have Xinjiang connections

🔭 The context: Tesla's supplier network includes firms allegedly undermining a U.S. ban on products from Xinjiang due to potential coerced labor
• Several of these suppliers have participated in China's "labor transfers" of minority Muslim Uyghurs 

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Electric vehicles (EVs) are critical in confronting climate change
• However, if EV companies overlook ethical sourcing, the industry's growth may come at a significant human rights cost, undermining the moral high ground these companies intend to occupy

⏭️ What's next: As the EV industry booms, the U.S. government and various committees are closely examining such violations of labor rights 
• The connections to Xinjiang strain U.S.-China relations, making the situation a geopolitical concern

💬 One quote: "If we don’t fix this now, in the early days of this transition, it will be a massive mistake... but the auto companies are not giving much hope they are willing to do anything to make a difference." (Duncan Jepsen, supply-chain expert)

📈 One stat: Chinese companies supply nearly 40% of the materials for batteries in Tesla's cars globally

Click for more news covering the latest on human rights

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