Prodotti manufatti nei Laogai continuano ad essere importati in America nonostante le leggi che lo dovrebbero impedire, dichiara la Commissione per la revisione dei rapporti economici con la Cina, nel suo rapporto al Congresso USA.

La Commissione per la revisione dei rapporti economici e quelli riguardanti la sicurezza con la Cina (U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission – USCC) ha reso noto, nel suo rapporto annuale al Congresso, che l’importazione di prodotti provenienti dai campi di lavoro forzato in Cina continua imperterrta e nonostante le leggi vigenti.Il rapporto della Commissione al Congresso afferma :

· L’importazione di prodotti del lavoro forzato che è illegale, secondo le leggi degli Stati Uniti, continua.

· La Cina non rispetta gli accordi presi firmando il “Memorundum of Understanding” del 1992 e lo “Statement of Cooperation” del 1994 riguardo l’esportazione di prodotti del lavoro forzato dalla Cina. Secondo gli accordi firmati la Cina dovrebbe anche permettere l’ispezione dei campi sospetti di tale attività illegali entro 60 giorni dalla richiesta.

· Non è corretto escludere dalla lista dei campi di lavoro forzato i campi di “Rieducazione attraverso il lavoro” (Laojiao) come vorrebbe Pechino.

· La carenza delle autorità Usa nel fare applicare le leggi che proibiscono l’importazione di prodotti del lavoro forzato dei Laogai rappresenta un incentivo per le imprese, in ricerca di profitto ad ogni costo, a comprare prodotti dei Laogai.

· Imprese commerciali, che rispettano la legge ma che hanno ragione di credere che i loro concorrenti utilizzano prodotti manufatti interamente o parzialmente nei campi di lavoro forzato, non hanno nessuna strada legale per denunciare i loro concorrenti.

La Commissione ha anche proposto al Congresso alcune misure concrete :

· Venga approvata una regolamentazione che permetta alle autorità doganali USA di bloccare l’importazione di prodotti sospetti di essere stati manufatti nei campi di lavoro forzato se la visita di tali campi non verrà permessa dalle autorità cinesi entro 60 giorni dalla richiesta della visita.

· Si solleciti un emendamento agli accordi firmati con la Cina che includa tra gli scopi degli stessi anche i campi di “rieducazione attraverso il lavoro” (Laojiao).

· Le agenzie ed i dipartimenti governativi responsabili facciano maggior uso di informazioni pubbliche e fonti specializzate per reperire dati e notizie riguardo ai prodotti sospetti di essere stati manufatti nei campi di lavoro forzato

· Si approvi una regolamentazione che permetta “un diritto privato all’azione legale” per le imprese affinchè le stesse possano denunciare concorrenti sospetti di comprare prodotti del lavoro forzato o di falsificare documenti doganali allo scopo d’importazione degli stessi.

Già nel dicembre del 2005 il Congresso USA ha passato una risoluzione contro i Laogai con 413 voti favorevoli ed 1 solo contrario. La risoluzione condanna il sistema dei LAOGAI, le esecuzioni di massa e la vendita degli organi. In breve, condanna il regime comunista cinese e richiedeva al Governo degli Stati Uniti di applicare le leggi, di collaborare con l’Unione Europea per convincere l’ONU a denunciare lo sfruttamento umano e la violazione dei diritti umani in Cina. Inoltre il Congresso chiede, giustamente, la creazione di una commissione d’inchiesta.

L’importazione in America ed in Europa dei prodotti, spesso nocivi, dei Laogai continua. E’ appena stato pubblicato il Laogai Handbook 2008 con ben 1422 campi Laogai operanti. Nell’edizione del 2006 erano 1045 !  Inoltre, secondo un rapporto della Laogai Research Foundation di Washington, di giugno del 2008, nella banca dati dell’organizzazione internazionale Dun & Bradstreet sono stati trovati ben 314 Laogai di cui 65 avevano la parola “Prison” nel loro nome ! (leggi il Rapporto Dun & Bradstreet: 314 laogai) Harry Wu ha anche testimoniato e ricordato alla Commissione che le misure prese dal Governo USA sono inadeguate per assicurare il rispetto delle leggi e degli accordi con la Cina.

In Cina vi e’ una dittatura che commette crimini al limite dell’incredibile e sfrutta il proprio popolo a vantaggio di una piccola elite del partito, a puro scopo di profitto economico. I nostri consumatori europei finanziano questi orrori con i loro acquisti. Le imprese occidentali corrono in Cina per aumentare i loro profitti.

Siamo in crisi economica. Ma una delle cause principali di questa crisi economica (e, quindi, del fatto che le massaie Italiane non arrivano alla fine del mese), e’ proprio che la Commissione Europea ed i nostri governi hanno permesso l’invasione di prodotti cinesi in Europa causando centinaia di migliaia di disoccupati, migliaia di delocalizzazioni, imprese in bancarotta, indebitamenti dei Governi e cassa integrazione per decine di migliaia di lavoratori. Tutto cio’ costa … ed oggi ne vediamo il risultato…!!!

Le famiglie non hanno abbastanza soldi per arrivare alla fine del mese e comprando prodoti cinesi risolvono il problema a breve termine ma peggiorano la situazione a lungo termine….

I nostri figli saranno le vittime di questa nostra irresponsabilita’ !!.

Mercato Libero ? Si ma con le stesse regole per tutti ed entro limiti etici per tutti !!!!.

Toni Brandi
www.laogai.it

Segue il comunicato in inglese della Laogai Research Foundation di Washington

LRF Executive Director Harry Wu testified on that subject at a hearing of the USCC held on June 19, 2008. In his testimony, Mr. Wu warned that U.S. efforts to enforce the ban on the importation of forced labor products as prescribed under two bilateral agreements — a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1992 and a Statement of Cooperation signed in 1994 — were clearly inadequate, a view reflected in the Commission’s report. Mr. Wu also shared the results of a LRF research project with the Commission which linked 256 Laogai camps to commercial business listings in one of two online Dun & Bradstreet databases, demonstrating that Laogai enterprises continue to export their products to foreign markets (The report is “Laogai Forced Labor Camps Listed in Dun & Bradstreet Databases” click here to download) . That research was cited in the USCC report, along with Mr. Wu’s other works.

The Laogai Research Foundation now calls upon the Congress to enact the recommendations outlined in the USCC’s Annual Report and to further hold China to account for its ongoing violation of human rights on numerous fronts.

The USCC’s press release summary of the report can be accessed here. Part of the report’s executive summary and its recommendations regarding the import of prison labor products are reproduced below.

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China’s Compliance with Agreements Pertaining to its Export to the United States of Prison Labor Products

The Commission examined the issue of prison labor imports from China and found that the Chinese government has not complied with its commitments under two formal agreements with the United States to cooperate with U.S. officials to stop the export to the United States of goods manufactured by prison or other forced labor in China. Under U.S. law, it is illegal to import into the United States products made with prison or other forced labor. Under two China-U.S. agreements signed in teh early 1990s, the Chinese government agreed to facilitate investigations by U.S. officials of allegations of goods produced by prison labor, including allowing U.S. officials to visit suspect facilities. For several years, the Chinese government has not complied with these provisions, making it impossible for U.S. officials to conduct complete and useful investigations of such allegations. This has produced a perverse set of incentives for law-abiding U.S. importers, who may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to competitors who obtain merchandise made by Chinese prison labor.

Conclusions

* The Chinese government has not complied with its commitments under the 1992 Memorandum of Understanding and the supplementary 1994 Statement of Cooperation with the United States related to prison labor exports to the United States. It particularly has failed to comply with the requirement that it grant permission for U.S. authorities to visit suspect prison labor sites within 60 days of receipt of a U.S. request to do so. Consequently, these agreements have been ineffective in enabling the U.S. government to ensure that Chinese prison labor products are not imported into the United States.

* The official PRC position that “reeducation through labor” represents an administrative sanction rather than a form of prison incarceration, and that it therefore is not covered by prison labor agreements, leaves a large portion of the Chinese penal system outside the scope of the prison labor agreements between the U.S. and Chinese governments. The U.S. government does not agree with the Chinese government’s characterization of “reeducation through labor” as distinct from prison incarceration. The Chinese government’s refusal to include “reeducation through labor” facilities in the scope of prison labor agreements eliminates any realistic possibility that the United States reliably can identify sources of goods manufactured with prison labor and prevent their importation into the United States.

* The import of prison labor goods into the United States is illegal. Although it is likely that prison labor products represent only a small fraction of Chinese-manufactured products imported into the United States, the preponderance of evidence suggests that Chinese prison-made goods continue to enter the U.S. market.

* The current failure effectively to enforce U.S. law prohibiting importation of prison labor products has established a perverse set of incentives for U.S. importers and their retail partners in which those willing to purchase prison labor products from Chinese suppliers may achieve and retain with impunity a competitive advantage over competitors who source from legitimate manufacturers.

* U.S. businesses that have cause to believe a competitor may be importing products manufactured with prison or other forced labor, thereby gaining an unfair competitive pricing advantage, currently have no private right of action to pursue civil claims against that competitor.

Recommendations

* The Commission recommends that Congress enact legislation directing U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue detention orders for all products originating in a Chinese prison labor facility when DHS’ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have not been permitted to inspect that facility within 60 days of their request to do so.

* The Commission recommends that Congress instruct all relevant government agencies and departments to make greater use of available open source and intelligence resources to gather information about Chinese forced labor facilities and violations so as to offset the dependence on Chinese government information in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding, the Statement of Cooperation, and relevant U.S. laws and regulations.

* The Commission recommends that Congress urge the administration to negotiate an amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding that makes explicit that “reeducation through labor” facilities are included within the scope of U.S.-China agreements related to prison labor.

* The Commission recommends that Congress enact legislation establishing a “private right of action”–i.e., civil litigation–allowing a business to file suit against a competitor suspected of importing prison labor products in violation of U.S. law and/or knowingly falsifying customs information in order to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

WASHINGTON, DC (November 20, 2008) – China relies on heavy-handed government control over its economy to maintain an export advantage over other countries. The result: China has amassed nearly $2 trillion in foreign exchange and has increasingly used its hoard to manipulate currency trading and diplomatic relations with other nations. These are among the concusions in the sixth Annual Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “Rather than use this money for the benefit of its citizens—by funding pensions and erecting hospitals and schools, for example–China has been using the funds to seek political and economic influence over other nations,” said Larry Wortzel, chairman of the Commission, at the official release of the group’s 2008 report to Congress on Thursday.

The bipartisan Commission, established by Congress to analyze the economic and national security relationship of the two nations, made 45 recommendations to Congress for further action. The 393-page report was unanimously approved by the 12 Commissioners. The Commission held eight hearings; travelled to China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan; commissioned original research; and consulted with the U.S. intellegence community.

The report acknowledges some progress by China. Its adherence to non-proliferation agreements has continued to improve. China’s involvement in the Six Party Talks assisted the negotiations to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons production capacity.  Yet China has stepped up its capacity to penetrate U.S. computer networks to extract sensitive government and private information. Beijing’s “continuing arms sales and military support to rogue regimes, namely Sudan, Burma, and Iran, threaten the stability of fragile regions and hinder U.S. and international efforts to address international crises, such as the genocide in Darfur,” the report notes.

The report is critical of China’s use of prison labor to produce goods for export and of China’s refusal, despite promises,  to allow inspections of prisons by advancing the specious claim that forced labor constitutes “reeducation” rather than punishment. The Commission also notes that China’s government “has created an information control regime intended to regulate nearly every venue that might transmit information to China’s citizens: the print and broadcast media, the Internet, popular entertainment, cultural activities, and education.”

The Commission warns Congress that fish imported into the U.S. from Chinese fish farms “pose a health risk because of the unsanitary conditions . . . including water polluted by untreated sewage; fish contaminated by bacteria, viruses, and parasites; and fish treated with antibiotics and other veterinary medicines that are banned in the United States as dangerous to human health.” The Commission recommends greater powers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

By US – China economica and Security Review Commission

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