Friday, September 27, 2013

Professor Joel Paul to Testify Before Senate Subcommittee on "Social Dumping"

Economists say imported goods produced in substandard conditions export social problems like child labor and unsafe working conditions to developing countries.

Professor Joel Paul

Professor Joel Paul

Professor Joel Paul will testify Oct. 2, 2013 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy on what economists call “social dumping.”

The hearing is designed to examine how to rebuild American manufacturing.

Social dumping occurs when a country imports goods that were produced in sub-standard conditions. When countries like Bangladesh export goods to the United States, they are also exporting social problems like child labor, unsafe working conditions, and environmental degradation, Paul said in an interview prior to his testimony. “These imports compete against U.S. domestic products that are necessarily more expensive to produce because we require producers to internalize social costs like pollution or labor welfare,” he noted.

“Where workers are not paid fair wages and are denied the right to collectively bargain, where they are forced to work in hazardous or inhumane conditions, or where production facilities do not meet minimal environmental standards, U.S. manufacturers at home or abroad that maintain good labor practices are disadvantaged,” he said.

Paul will explain to lawmakers that by permitting social dumping in our market we “confer on foreign exporters an artificially constructed comparative advantage that distorts the market and hurts U.S. manufacturers and workers.” Foreign exporters, he said, should be required to meet basic labor and environmental standards established by international agreements. “We should use the existing mechanism for levying antidumping duties to impose duties against social dumping in order to create an incentive for exporting countries to raise regulatory standards.”

The topic has been the subject of intense scrutiny since April 2013, when more than a thousand garment factory workers perished in the fire and collapse of a sweatshop outside Dhaka, Bangladesh. “This factory produced millions of dollars’ worth of garments for forty retailers around the globe, but it paid average wages of about one dollar per day for long hours in appalling and unsafe conditions,” Paul said.

A full copy of Paul’s remarks, “Leveling the Playing Field for U.S. Manufacturers,” will be available following the Oct. 2 hearing. The hearing takes place 2:30-4:30 PM in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. For additional information and witnesses, click here. The hearing will be carried on C-Span and the Committee's sites.

Share this Story

Share via Facebook
Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

Other Recent Stories/ RSS

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

McAllister Street UC Hastings Campus Streetscape Project Update

The Board of the County Transportation Authority has approved $1 million in additional funding to expand the scope of the Streetscape Project.
Monday, April 21, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: April 21, 2014

Professors Osagie K. Obasogie, Sheila Purcell, Robin Feldman, James Lambden '75, Juliana Maio ’78, Philip Kan Gotanda ’78, Sergio Gutierrez ’83, Jeff Adachi ’85, James T. “Jim” Hammer ’86, Niki Solis ’95, Ryan C. Hughes ’10.
Friday, April 18, 2014

Moot Court Team Celebrates Winning Season

UC Hastings continues its tradition of excellence in intercollegiate advocacy competition and is currently ranked as the #3 Moot Court program in the nation.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UC Hastings Center for WorkLife Law Awarded $225,000 Grant from NoVo Foundation

Funds will enable WorkLife Law to develop information and tools that help low-income pregnant workers gain accommodations they need to keep jobs.
Friday, April 11, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: April 11, 2014

Professors Jodi Short, Marsha Cohen, Morris Ratner, Joan Williams, Guy Kornblum '66, Jennifer Keller '78, Tina Marroquin '03, Lisa Frydman.
Go to News Archive