Growth, Garments, and Prospects for Struggle

dmschanoes dmschanoes at
Fri Nov 21 17:30:43 MST 2003

For Brother Melvin--

Behind Bush's quotas on garment exports from China stands the explosive
development of textile, and garment production in the developing world.
Total trade value is estimated at $350 billion. Under WTO multifiber
agreement, MFA,  all quotas guaranteeing access to the markets of the
advanced countries for the developing countries will expire in 2005, and
then the glove will come off the invisible hand,  and the iron fist of
commodity production will press down even harder on the workers in these
industries-- most of whom, perhaps more than 70% are women.  Women working
for wages of $35 a month in Bangladesh, even less in China.

Tariffs imposed by the advanced countries are not,however, subject to such
liberalization.  For example, Bangladesh exports $2.4 billion in garments to
the US and pays $330 million in import duties.  France exports 24 billion to
the US and pays that exact same amount.

The transformation of production into industrial commodity production for
export based on the labor of women has disrupted the traditional relations
between men and women, leading to various reactionary religious and
political movements designed to restore women to the archaic functions of
servants to men, and property for the reproduction of the heirs to property.

The point being that the reproductive capability of women is attacked, made
subject to restriction or requirement, from left or right, when the
productive relations first disrupt "tradition" and then fail to follow
through and complete that 'emancipation' of womens' labor from all forms of


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