Should labor practices in another country be a relevant consideration in international trade?
Yes: labor practices in another country should be a relevant consideration in international trade;
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In an ideal situation, labor laws should be harmonized in all countries to facilitate the movement of factors of production more precisely labor movement. Employee’s rights are human rights and should be respected and protected by law. In international trade, there is the interaction of different countries whose labor rights might differ from generally accepted by labor rights by international human rights bodies. If at-all these practices are not injuring a person, and the reasoning behind them is making sense, then they should be incorporated. For example, in Saudi Arabia, pilots and air hostesses flying to Muslim countries are expected to be Muslim. Such a rule is discriminatory against other religions however, if critically elaborated; there is a lot of sense in it. Such rules should be included.
About trade in products such as cocoa, what options are available to governments, businesses, and consumers for dealing with practices such as child labor or slave in other countries? What are the implications associated with each of these options?
Child labor and slave laborers are major problems in African countries. An increasing number of kids are terminating their education to work on farms. West Africa, where the world’s largest supplier is, is facing a challenge dealing with child labor. To stop the vice, the government, businesses, and consumers have a part to play.
One of the most cited reasons why kids are willing to work in cocoa farms is poverty. The government should manage their economies well to ensure that societies can feed themselves. They should also ensure that laws protecting children (children’s rights) are respected. In case a child is arrested working on a firm, there should be three responsible parties, the child, the farm owner, and the parent. The farm owner’s case is decided; he/she is guilty, he/she is expected to ensure his farm is not labored by children.
Businesses and consumers have closer contact with farmers than the government. They can easily know farmers using children as laborers. They should refuse to buy their products and report them to the police for legal action. Campaigns against child labor should be embarked on. Children should also be sensitized to their rights.
When the government holds someone accountable and undertake legal action upon them, then farmers and parents will fear using children as a laborer. With time the trend will end.
Cocoa produced in farms end up in businesses if businessmen stand on their ground and only buy from farms respecting children’s rights, then those using children as a source of labor will have no option than leaving the trend.
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How would international Trade theorists view the fair-trade movement?
International trade theorists would support fair trade policy since it ensures that when a certain trade is taking place, all the parties that facilitate the trade in one way or another benefit from the trade. For example, in case a chocolate manufacturing company is established in West Africa by Germans, the local people supplying the company with raw cocoa should be paid relatively higher from the proceeds of the company. The company should also engage in social corporate responsibilities like hospitals and building schools to improve the living conditions of the community. On the factory’s side, it should realize some profits.
Under fair trade, resources found in a certain locality should benefit the locality living there. It may be exploited by an investor who is not a resident, but whichever the case, there should be mutual benefit between the exploiter and the locals.
Trade theorists would see fair trade as a form of equality in resource distribution. They would support fair trade movements.