Sewing Up Bangladesh

image source: The Washington Post
image source: The Washington Post

Today I received the following in my inbox from the New York Times…

Obama Administration to Suspend Trade Privileges With Bangladesh, Officials Say

The Obama administration will suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh over concerns about safety problems and labor rights violations in that country’s garment industry, (formatting mine) administration and Congressional officials said on Thursday.
The White House has come under intense pressure to suspend trade privileges with Bangladesh after a factory building there collapsed in April, killing 1,129 workers, and after a factory fire there killed 112 workers last November.


Now all of us remember the headlines a few months ago of the factory fire that killed hundreds and injured many others in the garment district of Bangladesh on May 9, 2013.  Prior to that, there had been outcries of the way workers were being treated.  But rightfully, the discussion on social media centered the responsibility around two entities that could actually do something about it, one, the US companies who were causing the conditions to their global workers for higher profits to themselves and the other, the consumer, who was blindly accepting those conditions in order to purchase clothing at a discount.

Now we have the solution of all solutions guaranteed to appease the blind public and the greedy and corrupt businesses who are actually responsible for those atrocious worker conditions that caused that fire: a US sanction against Bangladesh who survives on their garment industry.  Let’s sew up their income after we have allowed their workers to die for our comfort.  Let’s not go after the companies who are responsible for this. Let’s not sanction the businesses who encouraged this by paying such low wages and relocating their factories overseas for higher profits at the top or who made deals with native companies for prices that would never provide a livable income for the workers. Let’s make it the Bangladesh government’s fault.  Bangladesh who could ill afford to fight us back (as did Japan for being sanctioned in a similar way before WWII).  Very brave of us.

Ain’t globalization great!  Aren’t loopholes, fantastic!


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