We need a progressive agenda for human rights that is more than a knee-jerk response to the multinationals that are shaping post-cold war foreign policy. To protect its own profitability, business opposes economic sanctions against human rights violators. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we should favor sanctions.
China’s human rights abuses are in the lime- light not because they are exceptionally egregious but because China’s trade surplus with the United States is huge and its future as an economic power is frightening. Sanctions are promoted as being in the best political and economic interests of both American and third world workers—more human rights in poor countries supposedly mean more political clout...
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