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International Legal and Ethical Issues

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International Legal and Ethical Issues
In the “Addressing Legal and Ethical Issues Simulation” a number of issues were addressed. The most complex issues were surrounding the proposed jurisdictions of the courts where legal disputes would be argued. The central issues were the time and expense involved in the resolution of potential disputes. At issue were the distance (time and expense) of litigating in US courts versus the immediacy of litigating in the courts of Candore. The enforceability of any judgment was questionable.
In the opinion of the Team, non-binding arbitration subject to international law could be the best solution for this question. The recent acceptance of Candore into the WTO should encourage compliance with decisions made in non-binding arbitration and would expedite resolution in a timely and less expensive to both parties and in the event of continued disagreement the parties would have recourse in international law.
The alliance between CadMex Pharma and Gentura has been a successful one and both companies have cross-licensing agreements for several other drugs and techniques. CadMex and after 5 years of doing business with Gentura is now facing a dilemma due to the change in political system in Candore a new government is now in place also the country is in the midst of an viral epidemic affecting more than 1% of the population, ViroBlax is a drug CadMex licensed Gentura to market is one of the drugs used in the treatment should CadMex allow Gentura to subsidize ViroBlax although that violate the payment terms of the contract between Gentura and CadMex? Although CadMex has the right to take legal action against Gentura doing so is not in the best interest of CadMex because the legal action will take years to settle in international court and will simply affect CadMex business in Candore, reaching an agreement is a better way to settle this case. Even when the Candorian government decided to revoke compulsory licensing of a generic version of ViroBlax CadMex should not take a legal action for several factors CadMex public relation is an important reason but more than that as a pharmaceutical company the decision is an ethical one since the country is facing a health emergency. The question of allowing the male employees of the company to not shave for a week in observance of a religious custom was also raised. Many solutions to this dilemma were proposed, the best of which is reasonable accommodation. Allowing this practice to continue far outweighs the benefit of trying to modify a tradition in a country CadMex is but a guest. In the US the right to religious freedom and observance is a protected right that the country was founded on. Our employees or associates, no matter the country of origin, should enjoy those same rights.
The ethical and legal implication of the US purchasing military aircraft from a foreign based business entity is the question.
Should the United States Air Force contract with the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EADS) instead of the Boeing Co. for the design and construction of a fleet of airborne refueling tankers? At first glance the answer is maybe, but upon further examination glaring legal and ethical questions arises. While the contract awarding process is a competition among multiple manufacturing companies the awarding of the contract is anything but a simple competition.
Many factors enter into the decision, price, specifications, performance, and company reputation, history of on time deliverables and apparently lastly country of origin.
Boeing questioned the fairness of the competition, citing “inconsistency in requirements, cost factors and treatment of our commercial data.” (AP) Very early in the competition Boeing was discouraged by the Air Force from using the 777 aircraft as a platform for the proposed tanker in favor of the smaller 767 aircraft. When the contract award went to EADS one of the cited factors that swayed the decision was the size of the aircraft. EADS aircraft is larger than Boeings 777.
From an ethical standpoint the contract award raises many more questions. Why allow an aircraft to be used by the US military to be built by a foreign country? National security notwithstanding, the United States has empty facilities and highly skilled workers who stand ready to produce the products the military desires. The employment of not only the employees of Boeing but also the supporting communities where the facilities are located would increase dramatically. Giving the people of the US the opportunity to not only assist in the defense of the country, but to also make a good living makes the award to Boeing the ethical decision.
A debate in the U.S and some European countries has been the ethical dilemma of outsourcing otherwise known as offshore employment. According to the Web site for outsourcing to India (2008) claims “widespread loss of jobs can be attributed to the move to low cost countries like India, Philippines, and Brazil. What does a company choose when faced with the choice of retaining long-term employees at higher cost to company and outsourcing the same task to cheaper locations where they can be done just as well for less? Offshore outsourcing helps companies make substantial savings on cost, improve profitability and add value to shareholders. Corporations have adopted outsourcing and even the few that have adequate funds out are joining that bandwagon as they find it increasingly difficult to stay competitive without outsourcing.”
Intuit corporation have been one the companies outsourcing jobs to India and the Philippines for years now, recently the company outsourced yet another of the call centers in Tucson, Arizona to India. The company now outsourced more than 60% of its customer support to an offshore location. The recent move came at the expense of more than 250 American jobs. What possible reason the company has other than saving money to take such a move? Taking a look at the company’s financial position one can see that the company is in a sound financial position, in fact, the company is buying back and retiring some of its stocks from the market. Intuit’s decision to outsource these jobs to India is an ethical decision, the company closing some of its call center in the United States is a move to save money not more than that. Outsourcing these 250 jobs is estimated to save the company more than $15 million a year in salaries and benefits alone.
When faced with a hardship outsourcing might be an alternative to bankruptcy or totally closing shop. When a company is doing well financially is it unethical although it might be legal for the sake for making more money to close its offices in one country and move jobs to another. Company’s’ ethical responsibility to the employees when making decisions that affects their jobs should not be taking lightly, executives and board of directors making the decision to outsource jobs need to remember that the employees and their families and the communities that is now effected by their decision to outsource were what made them so successful at the first place. Looking for a decent job these days are not easy to find. The concern for each employee is not to get laid off or have the salary reduces. About a year ago, the truck drivers union went on strike because more jobs of transporting products were given to Hispanic truck drivers. The dilemma was that is it ethical to give the jobs to those truck drivers who are not abiding the laws and codes of the American Union drivers.
What occurred was the union truck drivers were losing their routes and the number of deliveries. The truck drivers’ salary is based on the number of deliveries completed and the amount of load that is carried. When the companies that are manufacturing the products in Mexico are being shipped without the union truck drivers, the deliveries are being sent with unauthorized licenses, driving without insurance, vehicles not having vehicle admission standard, and not knowing the laws of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The vehicles that ship material must go some procedures. According to the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Tooher and DeMoor (2005). “§ 392.9 Inspection of cargo, cargo securement devices and systems.(a) General. A driver may not operate a commercial motor vehicle and a motor carrier may not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle unless-(a)(1) The commercial motor vehicle's cargo is properly distributed and adequately secured as specified in §§393.100 through 393.136 of this subchapter. (a)(2) The commercial motor vehicle's tailgate, tailboard, doors, tarpaulins, spare tire and other equipment used in its operation, and the means of fastening the commercial motor vehicle's cargo, are secured; and…” Therefore, the drivers from Mexico may have not been abiding those rules. If the uninsured driver gets into an accident, the driver does not have a proper Class A License, has no insurance, and if the shipment was not secured properly, the delivery would not be made, and hence, the delivery was not lawful.
The trucker union’s strike that was the proper procedure that took place. It was righteous for the union to stop the deliveries for a few days and make known to the manufacturing companies that proper distribution is the ethical way. Safety is responsibility. Nike had been under intense pressure from multiple international communities and other organizations regarding issues of business tactics that could be considered unethical to increase profits. “Nike, which outsources much of its manufacturing tasks to other companies, now had to face stiff public criticism for encouraging labor practices that provided minimum compensation to the workers. A majority of Nike’s shoe and apparel manufacturing business units are located in Asia where labor costs are considerably less when compared to rates in the US.” In Asian countries employees are not as organized and are compelled to work at lower wages in order to raise the standard of living by making the workers available to work although the conditions in the factories were horrendous according OSHA and FSLA standards. The major problems that came under public criticism was Nike’s use of the services of women and children who in the Asian job market are paid much less. Child labor is illegal and considered unethical in the United States and was an issue which turned public opinion against the company. The chemicals the employees were working with are extremely harmful and would cause serious consequences that may affect the skin, lungs and reproductive organs. The workers who often work under tremendous mental pressure in the factories was a concern that attracted the attention of the world media. Wage differentials in the Asian companies were another big issue when related to the American companies. The United States population and the shareholders were appalled that women had were expected to work longer hours in exchange for less than substandard wages. Nike’s quest for economic advantage resulted in high profits for the company but also endorsed human exploitation. When the issue of child labor was raised on the world stage, Nike was forced to make changes to comply with world opinion. Nike set policy prohibiting child labor in its factories abroad. It was important for Nike to let its business partners know that these measures were necessary to support the Nike brand image. Nike also enforced several new policies in it plants ensuring that the employees of its partners received at least a decent wage plan.
The factories were also compelled to comply with more stringent safety standards to protect the workers. Workers were also assured of the right to organize under the Workers Rights Consortium to ensure that the changes to the pay and working conditions did not revert to the old ways.
While America remains the largest food export country, the amount of importing is rising at an alarming rate. The tastes in foods and demand for alternatives have dramatically changed in the past few years. Importing food is another way to have all foods available regardless of the season to harvest. The climb of food imports has transformed the income for American companies considerably. An outstanding loss of business may be attributed to the growing number of imported products. Farming companies have lost a staggering amount of business due to the cheaper competitive prices of food from other countries.
In addition to the loss of American income, the FDA or Food and Drug Administration have had to spend additional funds for importing to be made possible. The health standards for food have been a controversial subject amongst critics. The FDA has attributed a large amount of time and money to create standardized regulations for safe importing to be possible. The FDA has also defended consumers from bioterrorism through foods. The treat of poison is a concern during the country’s time of war. Imported products require a rigorous process for planting, growing, distributing, and transporting. A large amount of money is spent on maintaining the quality of food that other countries provide for the United States. Goods from other countries need to be easily traceable for the safety of the American people.
While the reasoning behind importing goods derives from ultimately cheaper prices, the consequences may be quite disastrous. Many jobs are lost due to the outsourcing of food products. The funds required for regulating international food trading are vast. The decision for importing is making the American people spend money to lose money. Regarding ethics, the lack of American jobs for the sake of saving money is a very challenging decision. Much is to be considered in the subject of importing foods. The most difficult matter to decide is the worth of losing many jobs in the United States.

Reference
Associated Press (2008, March 10). Boeing will protest Air Force tanker contract. Retrieved August 18, 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23564933/
Tooher, N.L., & DeMoor, J. (2005). Hours of Service Rules Reinstated for Truckers. Missouri Lawyers Weekly , 1 . Retrieved August 17, 2008, from Google database.
Outsource2India. (2008). Outsource 2 India. Retrieved August 16, 2008, from http://www.outsource2india.com/why_outsource/articles/ethics_outsourcing.asp
Truck Accident Attorneys. (2005). Truck Accident Attorneys - Lawyers for Tractor Trailer Crashes. Retrieved August 18, 2008, from http://www.truckaccidents.com/…...

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