Made In China -- Behind Bars

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Human rights activist Harry Wu, who spent 19 years imprisoned in China and is now a U.S. citizen, told a Senate committee that he can prove that U.S. companies are illegally selling goods produced by Chinese prisoners, and accused the Clinton Administration of ignoring the practice. Wu, who heads a group dedicated to exposing forced-labor in China's prisons, said the products made involuntarily by prisoners included office supplies, sport shirts with Playboy, Esprit and Arnold Palmer labels, auto parts for American cars, and even Christmas tree lights. President Clinton plans to renew China's most-favored-nation trade status, despite continuing allegations of human rights abuses. Under current procedures, U.S. customs officials find it difficult to investigate allegations concerning such prison labor because they must ask permission to inspect suspect plants. So far this year, requests to visit 20 facilities have yielded visits to just 13.