(Office of the Attorney General, September 22, 2023)

As Idaho’s Attorney General, one of my primary responsibilities is to safeguard the rights of Idahoans in conducting business while promoting fairness and transparency in commerce. In the wake of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, American companies have faced a series of unfair trade practices that demand our attention.

The Chinese government’s actions include:

  • The unlawful acquisition of our technology through intellectual property theft.
  • The use of forced labor to manufacture goods at prices that undercut American products.
  • The consistent manipulation of their currency to artificially lower the cost of their goods compared to those made in the United States.

Moreover, Beijing’s potentially illegal subsidy programs have allowed Chinese companies to gain dominant positions in the global market. These practices occur alongside discriminatory actions towards foreign firms, such as Idaho-based Micron Technologies.

As Attorney General, I remain committed to protecting the interests of Idaho businesses and ensuring that the principles of fair trade and market integrity are upheld nationally and internationally. That is why I and 14 of my fellow Attorneys General issued a joint statement concerning SHEIN, the China-founded fast-fashion retailer, and its potential Initial Public Offering (IPO) launch later this year.

In a letter directed to Gary Gensler, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), I expressed deep concerns about SHEIN’s business practices, specifically the troubling reports of forced labor associated with the company’s operations. In this letter, we collectively urged the SEC to establish a requirement for foreign-owned companies seeking listing on U.S.-based securities exchanges. This requirement would mandate that these companies certify their compliance with Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which unequivocally prohibits the importation of products manufactured wholly or partially by forced labor.

Additionally, our joint letter highlights SHEIN’s exploitative tendencies in riding trends, a practice that blurs the lines between intellectual property and copyright. Furthermore, we emphasize the company’s extensive data collection activities targeting American consumers, which are harnessed within intricate algorithms. This data collection by a Chinese company should be subject to the same level of scrutiny as TikTok, another Chinese-owned entity.

I remain dedicated to safeguarding Idaho’s commerce and ensuring our businesses have a level playing field to thrive. Together, we will work tirelessly to ensure that the interests of all Idahoans and American companies are protected and promoted.

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