Biden niece worked in Coca-Cola government relations as company lobbied against Uyghur forced labor bill
Missy Owens left position at soda giant last November
President Biden's niece worked in The Coca-Cola Company's government relations arm as the company lobbied against a bill that would have banned US companies from importing a large swath of Chinese goods made with forced labor from Uyghur Muslims.
Missy Owens formerly worked in the American soda giant's government affairs division for almost a decade, leaving in November of last year. The New York Times reported shortly after she left the company that Coca-Cola had joined Nike and other companies in lobbying against the Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
The company hired an outside group, the Enterprise Consulting Group, in July 2020 to lobby on behalf of Coca-Cola in efforts to water down a bill dealing with the Uyghur Muslim genocide in China.
A different lobbying group, Sidley Austin LLP, was reported as lobbying for the company against the bill from the beginning of last year to the end of March 2020. The company’s employees gave the Biden campaign over $450,000 during the 2020 cycle.
While Owens did not directly lobby the bill, it was her job as the director of government relations to oversee that arm of The Coca-Cola Company. She was initially hired by the soda giant for her experience with the Obama administration and her experience "managing Vice President Joe Biden’s successful Senate campaign in 2008."
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A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola confirmed in a statement to Fox News that Owens had left her position at Coca-Cola last November and that she did not lobby on the issue while working for the company.
"Missy Owens left The Coca-Cola Company last year, in mid November," said the spokeswoman. "She did not lobby on this issue while she worked for us."
The spokeswoman also told Fox News, "The Coca-Cola Company does not import any goods from the Xinjiang region into the US."
The bill Coca-Cola lobbied against would have barred US companies from importing goods made by Uyghur forced laborers from the Xinjiang region, where the Chinese government is committing genocide against the ethnic group.
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Coca-Cola has a large stake in the foreign market. According to a job listing from March 7 of this year, Coca-Cola was looking for someone with experience in the Asia Pacific region to fill Owens’ role in the company. One of the job duties listed by Coca-Cola for the gig was to serve "as a resource to the global business units in Asia Pacific and serve as point of contact at their embassies in DC."
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According to the company website, China is Coca-Cola’s "third-largest market by volume," and the company has identified it as "a significant long-term growth opportunity for The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling system."
Coca-Cola has been an outspoken critic of the recent voting law in Georgia that requires voter ID, saying it is "standing up for what is right" by doing so.
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Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., slammed Coca-Cola and other "woke corporate hypocrites" for attacking the new voting law while still doing business with a nation that is committing genocide.
Coca-Cola is also one of the corporate sponsors of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, an event that many Uighur rights groups have dubbed the "Genocide Games."