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Congress calling out Olympics sponsors to recognize violations in China

Some members of Congress are "calling upon corporate sponsors" of the Beijing Games to “publicly recognize" the human rights violations in China, according to Julie Jag of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Two dozen House members “drafted and signed a letter to Olympic sponsors” last week requesting they "respond with their reasoning for sponsoring the Beijing Olympics and consider pulling their support for the Games.” Congressional Olympic and Paralympic Caucus co-chair Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) on NPR’s "Here & Now" on Thursday said, “We cannot give them a free pass. This is the perfect opportunity to highlight what’s happening there, to seek improvements and do everything we can to ensure that human rights are improved around the world.” Still, Jag notes corporate sponsors have been "reticent to pull back on their sponsorship and risk being cut off from one of their biggest markets.” But in their letter, the lawmakers "point out" that many of the companies, specifically Delta and Coca-Cola, “embroiled themselves in politics last year when they weighed in on voting rights issues” in Georgia. Curtis: “The hypocrisy just seems to shout from the rooftops.” The letter “requests that sponsors reply to legislators’ questions” by Jan. 27 (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 1/21).

P&G SPEAKS OUT: P&G President & CEO Jon Moeller said of being a Team USA sponsor, “China is an important market for us. It's our second largest market in both sales and profit … but as relates to the Olympics, we view this very simply. We have for years supported athletes and their families. We support international interaction which generates learning, awareness and ultimately acceptance of each other and we think those are fundamental benefits that are worth supporting” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 1/19).

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