In the News

A Return to Quotas

New York Times

By James Kanter and Keith Bradsher

LONDON, Nov. 8 - The trade agreement that the United States and China announced Tuesday, limiting China's clothing exports for the next three years, makes official what had already been happening: the return of quotas, at least for the world's largest textile and apparel power.

Wal-Mart's 'China Price'


By Joshua Holland

Wal-Mart is responsible for approximately 10 percent of the United States' trade deficit with China.

The problems with the company's overseas production are the result of sweeping changes in public policies brought about by the Conservative Revolution and by disastrous, industry-written global trade and finance rules supported by a bipartisan consensus for the past three decades (Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, whose husband championed "free trade" deals like NAFTA, sat on the Board of Wal-Mart between 1985-1992).

San Francisco Board of Supervisors is a Global Good Neighbor

International Relations Center

On September 13, 2005, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the San Francisco SweatFree Ordinance that requires city contractors to guarantee in writing that the uniforms, computers, and other goods they supply were not made by workers exploited in sweatshops. As part of the certification process, contractors who sign the sweatshop-free pledge would have to disclose the names of their subcontractors, where their factories are located, and what workers are paid.

What Is Organic? Powerful Players Want a Say

New York Times

By Melanie Warn

Customers at McDonald's restaurants in New England are about to get something a little different when they order coffee. Through a deal with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Newman's Own, McDonald's will soon be serving a coffee that comes from organic beans and is certified Fair Trade because it meets higher standards in the treatment of coffee workers.

The move, while still a test in a limited region, reflects a much broader trend: The growing interest among large food companies in offering organic foods along with their standard products.

‘Applies Only to Child Labor’:Child Advocates Say Wal-Mart Deal Underscores Pervasive Mindset at Labor Department

Child Labor Coalition

Contact: Carol McKay, NCL, 202-835-3323 ext.114

media [at]

Washington, DC--The Child Labor Coalition (CLC) criticizes the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on its child labor record, calling it a deplorable disgrace.

A New Weapon for Wal-Mart: A War Room

New York Times

By Michael Barbaro

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 26 - Inside a stuffy, windowless room here, veterans of the 2004 Bush and Kerry presidential campaigns sit, stand and pace around six plastic folding tables. Open containers of pistachio nuts and tropical trail mix compete for space with laptops and BlackBerries. CNN flickers on a television in the corner.

The phone rings, and a 20-something woman answers. "Turn on Fox," she yells, running up to the TV with a notepad. "This could be important."