The Latin American Advisor, a magazine focused on developments in Latin America, asked for my thoughts on the future of the Asia-Latin America trade corridor. The piece that followed showcased my opinion along with two others. Take a look at what we have to say here.
-This underscores the need to raise global labor standards. The economics of globalization have outpaced social and environmental protections. We have a good system for logistics but not for protecting workers. U.S. should work with ILO to uphold international labor standards everywhere around the world.
-Pushing China to raise labor standards should be a higher priority than Obama’s big to-do with counterfeit goods. Putting pressure on China to raise labor standards would be better for American workers as well.
-Organized campaigns have successfully changed corporate practices, and this could apply in this case. Americans need to organize more campaigns for more corporate responsibility, and Apple is a perfect target for such a campaign. Socially responsible consumers and shareholders need to apply pressure on U.S. corporations to do the right thing.
-The U.S. government shares the blame on this one. Continue reading
In his State of the Union Address President Obama had this to say about China:
Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.
Now, I don’t endorse counterfeit goods, but counterfeit and unsafe products coming from China constitute a very small percentage of the industries that affect US employment. According to the United Nations on Drug and Crime, in FY 2009, mainland China was the source of $205 million worth of goods seized in the United States. However, the size of the U.S. economy is over $14 trillion. Continue reading