Decisions made in the boardrooms of multinational corporations reverberate around the world. And neither the workers who produce the goods nor the consumers who buy them can have any direct say in how corporate decisions are made. Multinational growth is one of the most significant shifts of international power this century.
• Of the largest economic powers in the world, 53 are countries and 47 are corporations.
• The revenues of the world’s top 200 companies have increased tenfold in the last 20 years.
• Multinationals dominate world trade: 85% of exports of both tea and coffee, for example, are controlled by the corporations.
The multinational corporation is
EITHER: A generator of wealth which respects the laws and standards of the countries in which it operates.
OR: A centre of political power beyond electoral control.
NI opinion: Agrees with the second alternative.
Journalist’s approach: To report on the impact in Liberia of a decision taken in the USA by Firestone.
See: Rubber rules.