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People walk past an advertisement for the new iPhone 13 series in Beijing. Photo: An Xin / Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

A non-profit group critical of tech companies is filing a complaint against Apple today with the Customers and Border Protection, seeking to have the agency block imports of iPhones and other products, Axios has learned.

  • Campaign for Accountability's Tech Transparency Project argues that Apple's products rely on components made using forced labor in China and maintains the agency has the power to block imports under the Tariff Act of 1930.

Why it matters: Getting the agency to stop Apple from bringing its gear to the U.S. seems like a long shot, but the complaint could draw further attention to the supply chain used by Apple and other tech companies.

Catch-up quick: A report by The Information earlier this year linked seven Apple suppliers to forced labor, including by Uyghurs living in Xinjiang.

  • That report included information from Tech Transparency Project.
  • The suppliers implicated ranged from those that make various tech components to a company that supplies uniforms for retail workers.
  • Apple denied the allegation, telling The Information that it “found no evidence of forced labor anywhere we operate."

What they're saying: "Overall, Apple seems unable or unwilling to conduct basic due diligence research on its partners, or to acknowledge its repeated use of forced labor in China," the Tech Transparency Project says in its complaint, a copy of which was seen by Axios. "Customs and Border Protection must spur Apple and other companies doing business in China to respect the rights of Uyghurs."

The big picture: Apple is not unique. Much of the tech industry sources its products from China, including Facebook, Google and Amazon — and other companies have made use of the same suppliers as Apple.

Go deeper: Apple lobbied Congress on bill targeting slave labor in China

Go deeper

Austin tech salaries climb

Expand chart
Data: Hired.com; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

More good news for Austin's tech workers: Local salaries increased 5% in the last year and aren't far behind tech workers' pay in California, a new report found.

Local takeaways: Of the 12 cities examined by job marketplace Hired, Austin ranks No. 6 with an average tech salary of $144,000, coming close to California cities despite differences in cost of living.

  • San Diego trailed just behind Austin, and Los Angeles ranked No. with an average of $149,000, while San Francisco topped the list at $165,000.
  • Dallas ranked near the bottom, with an average tech salary of $124,000, declining 9.5% from the previous year.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

In photos: Drought-ravaged California lashed by major storm

Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down on Oct. 24 in Marin City, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A major storm system was pummeling Northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains overnight.

The big picture: "Atmospheric river" storms, associated with a record-strong "bomb cyclone" offshore from the Pacific Northwest, have brought flooding and mudslides to parts of California that were razed by recent wildfires and in severe drought. It's also caused widespread power outages in California and Washington state.