U.S. Won’t Push Companies to Pull Out of Olympics, Raimondo Says

U.S. Won’t Push Companies to Pull Out of Olympics, Raimondo Says

The Biden administration will not pressure companies to drop their sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

“What individual companies do is entirely up to them. We’re not going to pressure them one way or another,” Raimondo said in an editorial board with Bloomberg reporters and editors Thursday. 

“So if a company decides -- as many companies have -- that they want to make a statement against human rights abuses, then that would be great. But we’re not going to be pushing anyone to make that decision.”

She spoke a day after Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on companies sponsoring the Olympics to pull their advertising dollars from the winter sporting event unless the games are relocated from Beijing. Rubio accused them of “promoting and glorifying a genocidal regime,” citing repression of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.

Rubio Accuses Beijing Olympics Sponsors of Ignoring ‘Genocide’

“It is not a stretch to say that Airbnb, Alibaba, Allianz, Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Intel, NBC, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Samsung, and Visa are now ignoring an ongoing genocide in the blind pursuit of profits,” Rubio said in a letter released Wednesday.

Raimondo said that she is “proud” of President Joe Biden for announcing a diplomatic boycott of the games, calling it a “really smart decision” to let American athletes participate even as there won’t be official U.S. representation in Beijing.

Asked if she’s worried China may retaliate against the U.S. boycott with economic measures, Raimondo said “no.” 

“We did the right thing for the right reasons.”

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