The report released on the occasion, titled “Rights of Exchange: Social, Health, Environmental, and Trade Objectives on the Global Stage”, is one among the many steps taken by politicians in trying to strike a balance between free and interventionist approaches to trade. Economists believe that there are genuine reasons for the growing antipathy towards globalization and a recession at this juncture could turn free-market pockets of the economy into protectionist ones. (Webster, Allan. &. Gilroy, Michael. P.332).
“Meanwhile, whether the Blair government’s recent policies will appease the disadvantaged is questionable. While Tony Blair warns that rich countries must help developing nations get rid of sweatshop conditions, he welcomes companies like Wal-Mart to the UK, whose contractor in Bangladesh pays teenage seamstresses less than the minimum wage. or McDonalds, whose toy-making contractor in Hong Kong was found to employ 400 children as young as 14, or Nike which pays 58 cents per day to its labourers in Indonesia, or Ralph Lauren which pays its Chinese workers 23 cents per hour. There is, and always has been, a huge gap between Mr. Blair’s rhetoric and reality”. (The Ecologist, p.12)
Changing the ground rules that govern the behavior of the global market seems politically and financially unpleasant to politicians preoccupied with short-term electoral results and dependent on corporate funds. But until they do, globalization will continue to be controversial. A 1998 survey involving 500 employees from various small business organizations reveals some telling statistics. It shows that racial minorities like Asians and Africans are less likely to find work in smaller firms. So is the case for women, irrespective of their racial background. Eligible workers between the age group of 25-45 are also less likely to find acceptance, especially in very small firms.