The High Price of Cheap Clothing

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Almost a week after the collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh, the search for bodies goes on. Almost 400 are known to have been killed, and hundreds suffered crushed rib cages and amputations. A recent fire killed 112 factory workers. But Bangladesh won't enforce its own laws on working conditions in 5000 factories so it can be the cheapest clothing maker in Asia. Walmart, H&M, JC Penny and other western companies have refused to fund an independent inspection program. Would it make a difference? Should the US and other western governments apply pressure under international trading agreements?  In the meantime, what's a consumer to do?




Warren Olney