Outsourcing In The U.S. Apparel Industry: Economic Benefits And Ethical Concerns

2496 words - 10 pages

Today, outsourcing plays a central role in the functioning of the apparel industry. By manufacturing their products overseas instead of in the United States, apparel companies are able to lower the cost of production. They pay less in wages and avoid the heavy regulations of the U.S. As a result, they are able to lower the retail prices of their products while still making profit. Benefits from outsourcing are so apparent that they lead one to wonder why a company wouldn’t outsource production. From the surface, outsourcing seems like the perfect way for companies to reduce their expenses, and remain competitive within the industry. A closer examination of the effects of outsourcing on the apparel industry reveals that some of them are not as positive as one would think, and that the negative effects are not felt solely on U.S. soil. Outsourcing apparel production takes jobs from Americans who would be working in the factories that are being moved overseas. Employees who work in the overseas plants don’t have it much better: they are barely paid enough to live on, and are often subject to mistreatment and hazardous working conditions. Outsourcing is without a doubt a good economic decision for companies that want to lower their cost of production, but is it also an ethical one?
The apparel industry (as well as many other industries in the U.S.) has seen a sharp rise in outsourcing manufacturing overseas – a trend that does not seem to be slowing down. In 1980, $250 billion were spent on importing goods from foreign countries (Cho and Kang). By 1999, this number almost quadrupled to $937 billion in 1999 (Cho and Kang). More recent data also shows a significant surge of apparel production outsourcing. In 2007, the U.S. imported $22.7 billion worth of goods in the apparel industry alone, a noticeable increase from the $18.5 billion spent in 2006 (Plunkett n.p.). Although this is a drastic change, it is not surprising. Companies are always seeking to gain an advantage over their competitors, and reducing costs is the best way to do so. Since the apparel industry specifically is very labor-intensive, the wages they pay their workers in factories make up a huge portion of their production costs. By outsourcing their production to developing countries, where the wages are significantly lower, they are able to lower their cost while producing the same products (Cho and Kang).
Outsourcing has had devastating impacts on the domestic apparel industry. The total number of workers in U.S. textile mills in 2007 was 169,900, down from 332,900 in 2001 (Plunkett n.p.). Many domestic factories are either struggling to remain open, or have already been forced to shut down. In 2004, Asian immigrants working at clothing factories in San Francisco felt the effects outsourcing has on workers in the U.S. On February 23rd , San Francisco increased its minimum wage from $6.75 to $8.50. However, instead of paying the extra $1.75 per hour, apparel companies in the area...

Find Another Essay On Outsourcing in the U.S. Apparel Industry: Economic Benefits and Ethical Concerns

Exploring the Benefits of Outsourcing Essay

2285 words - 9 pages The purview of this paper is designed to encompass the outsourcing of jobs in the manufacturing sector of the United States' economy. Beneficial and disadvantageous elements of globalization will be exposed within the respective boundaries inclusive to the outsourcing of U.S. industry jobs. Corporations in the United States should continue to pursue global trade through the outsourcing of in-house manufacturing. In-house manufacturing refers

The benefits and costs of outsourcing for America

3280 words - 13 pages in Scotland, with raw materials imported from India. England's textile industry became so efficient in the 1830s that eventually Indian manufacturers couldn't compete, and that work was outsourced to England (Kelly, 2004).The roots of modern outsourcing are associated with the computer bureau of the 1960s, which offered business support services such as payroll data processing. The outsourcer's investment into the infrastructure would be recovered

The Benefits of Offshore Outsourcing

968 words - 4 pages offshore outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing not only brings about economic growth but it also brings about new job opportunities for Americans. In conclusion, it is a fact that offshore outsourcing has its benefits. It is also true that it has its downside. The main downside is the fact that when a company outsources a service to another country American workers do get laid off. However, this is only a short term effect, and it is nothing to

Employment Benefits in the Fast Food Industry

3135 words - 13 pages of low-paid workers (Leidner 11). Those 2.5 million fast-food workers are now working at Subway, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc. The American fast food industry was built on the promise of low prices and fast services. Therefore, the corporations have to keep the labor and other operating costs down. Employees who work in fast food restaurants receive low wages and minimal benefits. In the past, many fast

Ethical Issues in the Fashion Industry

2240 words - 9 pages decrease the chances of people doing the extremes like performing unhealthy habits to grasp confidence. The fashion industry has not been in a good light when it comes to ethical issues. Many problems have surfaced to meet certain demands. Like the production of clothing. They are willing to do anything to produce fashionable garments to put on market. Such as creating many factories and buildings that can be harmful to the environment. Pollution

The Health and Economic Benefits of Vegetarianism

1646 words - 7 pages prevalent to make the switch to vegetarianism for good health. More and more people are becoming convinced that a vegetarian lifestyle is beneficial to good health and economic health as well. From the beginning, human culture is thought to have used farming and hunting to supply food for a diet that was heavily dependent on meat. In The Ethical Case for Carnivores, Leanid Josephus concluded that the choice to be vegetarian stems from forgetting

Outsourcing: The Demise of the U.S Economy

1493 words - 6 pages , and the union to compromise?” The answer is simple, quid pro quo. That is Latin for “something for something” (LectLaw.com). That means everyone benefits in the context of the solution. First, the government can pass a law that offers monetary rewards as well as recognition to companies for keeping jobs in the U.S and doing more exporting that importing which is what the nation needs to recover the outsourcing issue. This would cost around 100

Public Health: Ethical Concerns and Potential Barriers

2139 words - 9 pages (Aginam, 2005). The major part of public is dealing in the disease prevention rather than curing since the practitioners believe in the core principle that prevention is better than cure. Even though it gives much weight in the prevention, public health also assists in the treatment of various diseases. This paper gives an elaborate discussion of the ethical concerns of public health and their potential barriers. During the discussion, the

Alzheimer's Disease and Research: Ethical Concerns

2054 words - 8 pages ethical, the research project involving AD patients has to follow the guidelines of TCPS and be approved by a Research Ethics Board. In additon, autonomy, clinical equipoise and careful evaluation of benefits versus risks should be among the main ethical concerns of the study.

Economic Indicators in the Automotive Industry.

1520 words - 6 pages primary goal. The automobile industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. It creates 6.6 million direct and spin-off jobs and produces $243 billion in payroll compensation, according to a 2001 report on the "Contribution of the Automotive Industry to the U.S. Economy" prepared by the University of Michigan and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR). No other single industry is more linked to U.S. manufacturing or generates more

Technological and Ethical Concerns of Cloning

3014 words - 12 pages for research is questionable both scientifically and morally, the creation of life poses an entirely new problem. Mono-zygotic twins, or two embryos that have divided from one zygote, are technically cloned since they share one-hundred percent of their DNA. Western society seemingly deems these particular instances of cloning ethical, although the only difference is if they were propagated in a uterus or artificially grown in a laboratory

Similar Essays

Ec And Apparel Industry Essay

2892 words - 12 pages -93.TC (2002) "Study Reveal the Consumer, Manufacturer and Retailer All Win With Mass Customization," (http://www.tc2.com), (Current November 13, 2002).Business Wire 2004. Logistics Management. Delivering "Custom-Made" for Everyone; Apparel Industry Survey Conducted by FedEx-Emergence of Mass Customization in the Next Five Years. http://www.manufacturing.net.Bass, B. (2002), Personal Communication, December 11 Turban, E., McLean E., Wetherbe J

Imc And Ethical Concerns Essay

856 words - 3 pages IMC and Ethical Concerns With the constant advances in technology, the business world has become global. Companies compete with the business across the street as well as the business halfway around the globe. Organizations must be innovative to not only thrive but also just to survive. They must be aware of the internal and external factors both locally and globally that can affect their business. Internal Factor and External Factors Internal

Import Competition And Efficiency In Indonesia’s Textile And Apparel Industry: A Threshold Autoregressive Model

1831 words - 7 pages deviations of annual mean score of technical efficiency and scale efficiency for this industry are 0.0716 and 0.1805 respectively. Furthermore, for apparel industry the highest annual mean score of technical efficiency is 0.506 which was accomplished in 2007 and the lowest one is 0.317 which happened in 1989. As for the highest annual mean score of scale efficiency for this industry is 0.652 (1982) while the lowest score is 0.178 (1985). In

The Power And Benefits Of Monopolies In The Pharmaceutical Industry

2367 words - 9 pages Due to patents, Pfizer and other companies in the pharmaceutical industry are not always competing in a monopolist’s competition. When a business has a patent they are the only manufacturer who can produce the product until the product expires, so it is clear that the firm can act as a monopoly while in control of the patent. As a monopolistic company, the company has market power, giving it the capability to adjust the market price of a good