Bangladesh is not a rich country. Back in April, 1,100 garment workers died when a building collapsed. This immediately rewarded the entrepreneurs who used safer buildings. It punished the owner or investors in the unsafe building. Hopefully there were lawsuits as well, but I have no idea what the state of tort law is in Bangladesh. But at the very least, all the investors and entrepreneurs in the country received a lesson in how not to succeed in business.
Imagine you are a laborer in Bangladesh who makes golf equipment that is exported from your country into the United States. You hear about the horrible collapse of the building. You feel sorry for the dead workers and their families. You feel hostile to the idiot who tried to run a business out of an unsafe building. You feel glad that you work in a safer place and that you can still make a living.
But you can’t. Barack Obama took your job away from you. He erected high tariffs that reduced your employer’s sales in America. They can no longer use your services because they can no longer sell product in the United States. And why did President Obama do this to you? Because he wants to “help” poor workers in Bangladesh. The Wall Street Journal reports:
“The U.S. suspended its preferential trade treatment for Bangladesh on Thursday, a largely symbolic move to punish the country for poor labor practices that attracted world-wide attention after a garment factory collapsed in April, killing more than 1,100 workers… The suspension, which will begin in about 60 days, is expected to raise U.S. import duties on some Bangladeshi goods, including golf equipment and ceramics, but would have little effect on the garment industry, which dominates the country’s international trade. The decision marks a victory for U.S. labor leaders, who have criticized the labor laws and worker safety in Bangladesh. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the suspension ‘sends an important message to our trading partners.’ Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held a hearing this month on labor issues in Bangladesh, hailed the move, saying, ‘We cannot and will not look the other way while workers are subjected to unsafe conditions.’”
Get that? You are not even in the same industry as the workers who died. That industry was always hampered by US import tariffs. Nothing changes for them. But you, in a completely different industry, have to go home and tell your wife and children that you have lost your job. You no longer have income to provide for them.
It is amazing that Leftists will oppose sanctions (which they should) and yet endorse them when it comes to trade with friendly nations because of “poor labor practices.”
Behold the monstrosity that is the self-serving, lying, bloodthirsty conscience of the American liberal. We use harm that is not directly our fault to justify harming the poorest and most vulnerable in Bangladesh. We have the president of the AFL-CIO pretend to care about Bangladeshi workers, when we all know he just wants to limit consumer choices to protect American jobs. I’m sure those workers are so much better off jobless than they were before when they had jobs!
If you were one of those now-unemployed laborers, you would consider Obama’s actions to be an act of war against you and your family. You wouldn’t be wrong.