Multinational Corporations

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Ethical Dilemmas for Multinational Enterprise: A Philosophical Overview

Part One: Review Question #1

Multinational Corporations have always been and are currently now under harsh criticism. They are mainly condemned for exploiting resources and workers of third world countries, taking jobs away from the US industry, and destroying local cultures. Although there are negatives of multinational corporations, there are also positives. Business done overseas provides jobs for the people of the host country, improving the standard of living, and transfers technology. Richard T. De George explains moral standards, in five basic theses, that multinational corporations must adhere to in order to maintain corporate ethics.

De George argues in his first thesis that using US standards as moral standards is not right and creates false dilemmas for MNCs. Critics of MNCs argue American corporations should adhere to the same living, social, and business standards of the US, regardless of where they conduct business. Setting high standards is commendable, but they are not morally required. This means that rules and regulations are not part of a MNCs moral responsibility. I agree with this De George's first thesis because morality concerns human welfare. Although the American standard of living is much higher than a third world, as long as MNCs don't hurt human life, they should be able to open a corporation that holds the same standard of that host country even if it is significantly lower than America. However, there is an exception to this thesis concerning MNCs dealing with the drug and food industry. Those type of businesses should apply America's FDA and OSHA standards, "with respect to hazardous occupations…with respect to pay, with respect to internalizing the costs of externalities, and with respect to foreign corrupt practices," (DeGeorge, p.264). This is because drugs and foods directly affect human welfare.

De George explains that regardless...
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