Josh Hawley Calls on Apple to End ‘Unconscionable’ Operations in China, Reshore Manufacturing to U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) questions Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, former head of security at Twitter, during Senate Judiciary Committee on data security at Twitter, on Capitol Hill, September 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. Zatko claims that Twitter's widespread security failures pose a security risk to …
Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is calling on Apple CEO Tim Cook, considered the “architect” of the multinational corporation’s offshoring business model, to end all operations in China and reshore manufacturing to the United States.

Most recently, workers at Apple’s largest iPhone plant in Zhengzhou, China, have started fighting back against the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “Zero COVID-19” policy that keeps China residents locked up in their homes and CCP-controlled pods.

In response, Apple has bowed to the CCP in restricting the use of Airdrop file-sharing capabilities on Chinese iPhones to help silence dissidents behind anti-lockdown protests.

Hawley writes, in a letter to Cook, that Apple’s recent actions in China are “unconscionable” and warrant the corporation to move all operations out of the communist country and reshore manufacturing to the U.S.

“Your continued dependency on Chinese labor not only undermines the interests of the American economy and its workers but has once again led your company to crack down on speech at the Chinese Communist Party’s behest,” Hawley writes to Cook:

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Chinese Communist Party has subjected the Chinese people to draconian public health measures. During the past week, dissatisfaction with the nation’s so-called zero-COVID policy came to a head: from Beijing to Shanghai and Urumqi, citizens took to the streets to protest and voice their dissent. This included demonstrations at a Foxconn factory in the city of Zhengzhou, one of the largest manufacturers of Apple’s iPhone. After enduring weeks of stringent pandemic mitigation measures, workers protested and clashed with Chinese law enforcement. Videos of these confrontations, including shocking images of workers being beaten and kicked by officials in hazmat suits, were widely circulated on social media and in the press. [Emphasis added]

Since Apple makes more than 95 percent of its iPhones in China, these disruptions pose substantial material risks to Apple’s stakeholders. To make matters worse, your company appears to be actively supporting the Chinese government’s brutal crackdown. For example, public reports indicate that Apple, through a recent software update for iPhones in China, has modified the AirDrop function to make it more difficult for protestors to use this function to evade censorship and surveillance. Unconscionable though this decision may be, it is not surprising: under your leadership, Apple has time and again assisted the Chinese Communist Party in surveilling and suppressing the basic human rights of the Chinese people. At the same time, it appears that Apple might be importing this model of speech control to the United States: reports indicate that your company might de-platform Twitter from the App Store as a consequence of the free speech policies implemented by new ownership. [Emphasis added]

You have been called the architect of Apple’s strategy to outsource production to China. While this strategy has yielded short-term profits for you and your shareholders, cracks are beginning to emerge in the aftermath of the pandemic and in the face of intensifying geopolitical tensions. It is time for Apple to chart a new path forward. I, therefore, urge you to take meaningful steps to reduce your dependence on Chinese labor, especially by reshoring production in the United States. [Emphasis added]

Apple’s entanglement with China has been taken to new heights in recent years. In 2016, for example, Cook signed a $275 billion contract with the CCP to prevent a crackdown on the corporation’s business in China.

Months after the contract was signed, Apple hit a record 23 percent market share in China — allowing the corporation to reclaim its spot as the number one smartphone brand in the communist country for the first time in six years.

At the expense of America’s working and middle class, Cook has driven Apple’s market value to $2.3 trillion by relying on an offshoring business model that has sent hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs to China.

Apple has seemingly had little regard for China’s history of employing slave labor.

In 2020, a report issued by an Australian think tank detailed how Apple was among a number of multinational corporations that has ties to Chinese factories where Uyghur Muslims are reportedly used as slave labor at the direction of the CCP.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


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