|Pix credit here|
The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), like other American authorities, have stepped up their pressure on US companies to more resolutely comply with US based sanctions regimes directed. among other places, to China. To that end they have been engaging in what I have called a two thrust policy: The US Two-Thrust Campaign Against Chinese Policy in Xinjiang: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Coordinates Use of Markets (NBA Endorsements) and Statutes (Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act). High on their lists of companies targeted are US spots leagues, and in particular the National Basketball Association, its teams, owners, and players.
The NBA is wildly popular in China, and its business there is estimated to be worth $5 billion. Last year, ESPN examined the investments of 40 principal owners and found that they collectively have more than $10 billion tied up in China. Tensions between the league and the government first surfaced in 2019 when then-Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The Chinese government responded by banning the NBA from state TV for most of three seasons, and a number of Chinese sponsors fled. The sanctions ultimately cost the NBA hundreds of millions of dollars. (Bipartisan commission calls on NBA to end use of apparel made by forced labor in China)
CECC continued developing this strategy in July 2023 when it hosted a hearing: CECC hearing titled “Corporate Complicity: Subsidizing the PRC’s Human Rights Violations.” (see also Submitted Testimony). Now CECC has again ramped up the pressure. In a press release dated 3 October 2023,
The Chairs of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) today released two letters—one to Commissioner Adam Silver of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and one to President C.J. McCollum of the National Association Players Association (NBPA)—raising questions about their respective business operations relating to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and asking them to prohibit the use or sale of NBA-branded gear and garments or NBA game-day shoes made with forced labor and any sportswear from companies that endorse the use of cotton and rayon and other materials from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)—such as Anta, Li-Ning, and Peak. (Chairs Ask NBA and NBPA for Stance on Forced Labor and Freedom of Expression)
The Press Release (with links) follows below., along with the letter to the Players' Association.