By Ludovic Hirlimann [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Do you have that obnoxious liberal neighbor or relative who likes to virtue signal with their electric car, because they are so concerned about global warming? That car's battery might be made from components that were mined by child labor, according to Bloomberg.
The cobalt that is essential to making electric car batteries likely was sourced from Congo, the world's second poorest country. The rush to mine the scarce mineral has led using children to crawl into crude, hand-dug mining shafts to harvest it.
Amnesty International reported mine collapses had killed dozens of children in 2015. Congo is the world's leading producer of cobalt, supplying materials to make batteries for car manufacturers, as well as for the batteries that power a number of tech gadgets, including smartphones.
Cobalt is available in the United States, as well as friendly countries such as Australia and Canada. President Trump's trade policies could likely cut down on unethically sourced products, as tariffs can act as a mechanism to punish trade partners that don't play by the rules.
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