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Have you ever looked at the labels on your jeans, your T-shirt, or your athletic shoes? If you do, you know that most of the clothes we wear in the United States are manufactured someplace else—usually in a less developed country where labor costs are cheaper. Although the headquarters of companies such as “the Gap,” “Nike,” or “DKNY” are in the United States, their factories are located in countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, El Salvador, and Macao. This kind of international production can cause political controversy, because companies often move their production offshore to benefit from lower wages, lower taxes, and lax labor safety and environmental regulations.

While international production is bringing Third World labor to First World consumers, international consumption is spreading First World ...

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