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Critics Target Wal-Mart on China

New York, Union-backed Wal-Mart critics unveiled an ad campaign Thursday that seeks to tie the world's largest retailer to the recent slew of safety problems in Chinese imports, the Associated Press reported. It is the first campaign from a new team of strategists at WakeUpWalMart.com after the two founding leaders left in July for the Democratic presidential campaign of John Edwards.

WakeUpWalMart's new ad claims that Wal-Mart's price pressure on Chinese suppliers leads to safety problems in some imports. It will run in 32 markets during morning and evening news shows through the weekend and kick off a series of ads on the topic of China.

Wal-Mart, which recently announced stepped-up safety testing of imported toys, defended its large business with China, as it has in the past.

"Our commitment to low prices is never at the cost of safety. Product safety has always been and will continue to be a top priority at Wal-Mart," spokesman David Tovar said.

Wal-Mart is China's largest single-corporate customer. In 2004, the last year it released a total, the company said it purchased roughly $9 billion in goods from China directly and another $9 billion indirectly, or goods produced in China for another company and then sold to Wal-Mart, according to the report.

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