Nike has been one of the leading sportswear brands in the world since its inception in 1964. However, in recent years, the company has faced criticism for its involvement in free trade agreements, which have been controversial due to their impact on workers and the environment. In this article, we will explore Nike`s use of free trade agreements and the implications they have for the company and the wider global community.
Firstly, it is important to understand what free trade agreements are. Free trade agreements are deals between two or more countries that aim to reduce trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas. These agreements are designed to promote open trade, which can be beneficial for businesses and consumers alike. However, there are concerns that some free trade agreements can have negative impacts, such as the exploitation of workers in countries with weak labor laws and environmental damage caused by increased production.
Nike has been involved in several free trade agreements over the years, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The company has argued that these agreements help to increase its global reach and make it easier to do business overseas. However, critics argue that Nike`s use of free trade agreements has been harmful to workers in countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia, where many of its products are manufactured.
One of the main concerns with free trade agreements is that they can lead to a “race to the bottom” in terms of labor standards. In countries where labor laws are weak, companies may be able to exploit workers by paying low wages and providing poor working conditions. This can lead to a situation where workers are forced to work long hours in unsafe conditions for very little pay, which is both unethical and unsustainable.
Another concern with free trade agreements is that they can lead to environmental damage. When companies are able to produce more goods at a lower cost, they may be more likely to engage in environmentally damaging practices such as deforestation and pollution. This can have serious consequences for both the environment and the people who live in affected areas.
In conclusion, Nike`s use of free trade agreements has been a controversial issue in recent years. While these agreements can have benefits for businesses and consumers, there are concerns that they can have negative impacts on workers and the environment. As a consumer, it is important to consider the ethical implications of the products we buy and to support companies that prioritize sustainability and fair labor practices. As a global community, we must continue to work towards fair trade policies that benefit all parties involved.