Case Study: Made in USA…Dumped in Brazil
Moral Issue: Should the US Dump Tris Pajamas on Third World Markets?
Yes, the US should dump Tris Pajamas on Third World Markets
Premises from the Articles: Are Ethical Values Ethical?; Ethical Dilemmas for Multinational Enterprise: A Philosophical Overview P1: Moral Relativism dictates that what is right in one country is not necessarily what is right in another. Similarly, just because something is wrong in one country, it may not be wrong in another. That is the case with the Tris pajamas. The US may have determined that the risks outweigh any benefits, but that may not be the case for Third World countries. P2: The Moral Ideals for any one country is ultimately determined by the people of that country. The US should not pass judgment on those ideals of another country, based on our own. P3: Our increased knowledge has lead us to the conclusion that there is no one moral code that can be universally regarded as being right by all people in the world. The US may not feel that the Tris pajamas are morally ethical, due to the risks they pose, but it is possible that another country may see this differently. P4: Some people may argue that sending Tris pajamas to Third World countries, violates a God-given commandment, with regard to not harming others. However, the idea of one God is highly disputed among the various religions of the world, and therefore it’s unlikely than any law provided by God will be universally seen as having authority. And, with no universally accepted authority, it’s impossible to maintain that one set of values should be taken as true among all countries or people. P5: The question of whether US Multinational Corporations (MNC’s) should dump Tris pajamas in Third World countries is, in fact, not a moral dilemma at all. The question itself actually confuses morally correct ways of doing business with current US regulations. We may agree that these regulations are well intended and admirable, but they are not morally required actions. P6: When the focus is taken off of US regulations and actually placed on moral norms that should be followed, we can see that when US MNC’s sell Tris pajamas in Third World countries, they are actually following the utilitarian principal of doing more good than harm. Living conditions in these countries are far lower than those in the US. Many of these countries are in parts of the world with dry, hot climates, and the people live in shelters and homes that are extremely prone and vulnerable to fires. Although the pajamas carry a medical risk, the number of children who are spared severe burns will surely outweigh the number that my become ill from wearing the pajamas. P7: Additionally, the MNC’s are not violating any other moral norms: they are not intentionally causing anyone harm, meaning that is not the goal of selling the pajamas in those parts of the world; we do not know from the case if they are contributing to the development of the countries, but we also cannot assume that they are not; again, we do not know if they are violating the rights of their employees, or violating cultural norms, but we also do not know that they are; and finally, we have every reason to believe that they are legally selling the pajamas in these countries, which would indicate that they are not violating any local background institution laws. P8: Regardless of how one views the morality of selling the Tris pajamas in Third World countries, responsibility must also be placed on the local governments. They are ultimately charged with regulating the happenings inside of their borders. It is not the responsibility of the MNC’s to determine what is and isn’t morally good for the people of another country.
Premises from the Case: Made in the U.S.A. – Dumped in Brazil, Africa, Iraq… P1: For most parents, the threat of their child being caught in a fire is a nightmare. This is no different in Third World...
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