When deciding where to shop and what to buy, stop looking at the price for a minute and consider business’ ethical and moral responsibility to the world. When you turn over a product or inspect the label, you get the big picture of what went into it, where it was made, and the workers’ conditions.
When considering clothing, it’s an interesting dilemma. Many companies will say that they’re an ethically made company or comply with labor standards, but is it true? Most of the time, it isn’t. Wholesale clothing isn’t hard to come by, but it’s hard to find a good priced piece of apparel for screen printing. Then it becomes evident that there’s a difference in clothing made in the USA and made in other countries. That’s where the price difference is. It’s usually over twice the price for an American-made piece of clothing than something made in Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Venezuela.
While many companies place phrases like “Printed, packaged, and shipped in the USA,” the label tells you a different story about the product’s origins. Your favorite “patriotic” gear isn’t as patriotic as you think.
I say all of that to bring you to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He was asked if businesses must speak out against China regarding labor practices and doing business with China. Blinken said, “Look, I’ll let businesses decide for themselves how they want to approach these issues. They’re incredibly complicated. There are, I think, good-faith arguments in various directions.”
I can partly agree with Blinken in his assessment of the situation, which is weird but comes from a business practice in the free market. Businesses need to decide for themselves if they’re going to go along with labor violations and slave labor in places that utilize the practice as their commerce. Though there should be a governmental ban on imports from companies and countries with less than acceptable labor standards and using child labor or slave labor, businesses do have a choice to make. They can drive up profit by getting cheaper products from questionable sources, as many have done, or they can be an example for ethical business practice and stop relying on the types of production that lead to these types of human rights violations.
The American consumer has a responsibility as well. Every decision has an effect, whether good or bad. When you support ethical business, then you drive out unethical business. The same goes for supporting corrupt companies. The problem is that Americans aren’t always provided the information necessary to decide or overlook essential aspects of the production of products. The government doesn’t resolve the means of production or the free market, nor should they. What they should do is stop allowing imports from countries that are enslaving people to make products. That will send a clear sign that the U.S. will not be part of socialist or communist business practices.
Blinken goes off in the wrong direction when he diverts the topic, and instead of being honest, he takes up for poor business practice. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Blinken to “stop sending wrong signals to the Taiwan independence forces.”
China isn’t open to any interference in forcing the Taiwanese people to rejoin the Chinese Communist Party. You see, celebrities and sports players defend China because their revenue comes from China. 10% of the National Basketball League revenue comes from china which is why players get benched for speaking out about human rights violations. Nike and other companies will also fail to condemn human rights violations because their products are made in China. If they didn’t have that source of production, then they would have to pay much more to have them produced, and they don’t want to do that. But what does that impact have on the global economy? It would be much different if China used ethical practices, but they don’t, and it shouldn’t be tolerated by the government or large and small companies.