The following discussion questions are proposed by students enrolled in FASH455 (Global Apparel & Textile Trade and Sourcing) Spring 2016 after learning the unit on textile and apparel as a global sector. Please feel free to leave your comment and engage in our online discussion.
Debate on globalization and trade
1. In the US and France, older people those ages 50 and above, are less enthusiastic about trade in general than younger people, those ages 18 to 29. Older people in the US and France are also more likely than younger people to say trade destroys jobs. Why does age affect how people view trade?
2. In 2002, 78% of Americans viewed foreign trade and business as a positive thing. Since then, it has dropped down to 68% of Americans. What has caused some Americans to view foreign trade and business as a negative thing? What can be done to prove to more Americans that foreign trade and business can actually be beneficial to America?
3. Is it worthwhile for countries to offer benefits or incentives to keep companies from moving factories abroad?
4. It is stated that “we wear more than four million American jobs”. With this being said, it is obvious that due to certain steps in globalization, American jobs are supported. Why do you think that only a little over half (54%) of the public believes that trade creates jobs? What are some reasons for the rest of the public’s opinions about trade not creating jobs?
5. The US and other nations with advanced economies are skeptical of the benefits of trade and foreign investments. Are these countries justified in their reasoning, especially with the knowledge that “imports actually create more value and jobs throughout the supply chain”? What are these justifications?
6. Globalization is a major driving force in an expanding marketplace and there are numerous benefits, such as an increase in resource. Do you think that there are important risks of globalization that some companies are not taking into consideration? Since globalization and outsourcing has such a good effect on the U.S. economy, why does it have such a negative reputation in America?
7. Why is it that so many nations are debating between whether or not trade is good or bad for their country? What are the possible differences between each nation that could develop these opposing positions?
8. How mercantilism is relevant in today’s society? How is it outdated? Is it safe to say that the assumption “exports are good and imports are bad” is wrong in today’s society?
Impact of globalization on the textile and apparel industry
9. Due to the low cost of employment, loosened restraints of employee treatment and ethics, and low prices of factories and goods abroad it has become an attractive way American businesses can grow at a more affordable price. If given the opportunity would you stand by these companies’ actions to seek the cheapest way of production or would you stand on the side of Mr. Miliken, opposed to trade with foreign companies? Explain either side.
10. It is clear that over time, Milliken & Co. has dropped their anti-trade stance and began to warm up to the idea of being global. With society constantly changing, do you think that the future will consist of all textile companies taking a global stance on the industry? Why or why not?
11. Why is it that our soldiers’ uniforms are made in the U.S., but our Olympic athletes marched into the last summer games in London wearing uniforms containing tags saying “made in China”, does this show a weakness in the U.S?
12. Milliken & Co. has made the statement that “There is a new generation of CEOs… It’s part of their DNA that they operate in an international environment” This makes sense, however I wonder if companies would have gone global if labor costs the same everywhere? Would companies outsource jobs if the labor cost the same in every other country? With limited resources, they would still need to source the materials from other countries, but would they still manufacture them in the states or wherever they sourced them from?
[Note: for the purpose of convenience, please mention the question # in your reply/comment].