Lately, there’s been discussion in the U.S. about raising tariffs on imports of socks from Honduras. Many manufacturers moved their plants from the U.S to Honduras chasing the low wages. Fruit of the Loom is already ahead of the game and is closing one of its plants in Honduras. 800 jobs will be lost, and possible more as other manufacturers turn away from investing in Honduras.
All this is an answer to the protectionism and xenophobia in the U.S. Apparently the concept is: “Jobs are scarce, let’s favor U.S. workers”. That is all right. But, where do you think those 800 Hondurans will be tempted to come now that they’ll be unemployed? Confronted with hunger, and in the name of survival, I can confidently predict that at least 1, if not a major portion of them will try to cross the U.S. border illegally.
I am convinced that we need to eliminate immigration restrictions. That will mean the end of all outsourcing, as there would be no need for it. People would move to where labor is needed, and flee the places where wages are too low. Immigration restrictions are getting in the way of prosperity, and directly sustaining poverty and the governments that thrive from it.
By trying to protect ourselves, we damage ourselves and others.
Image by Uma B., used under a Creative Commons license