Topic 17: Are Multinational Corporations Free from Moral Obligation?
Today, the world economic are on the way of free trade. It means that there are more and more Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are signed between nations of between groups of nations. As a result, we will see the flow of MNC company from the wealthy countries to expand to the poor countries. These MNC companies invest to other nations just for many reasons as to misuse the cheap labor cost, to reduce the tax, etc. Therefore, there is a question is that are Multinational Corporations Free from moral obligation? The answer is absolutely no. But, in the real business, they will try to follow the moral issues that they have to do. They can do this because the poor countries they are doing the business do not care about that. We can take a look at Apple and Foxconn. They are all big MNC company. They hire thousands of workers to work on their factories around the world. But, they do not care about their workers living quality. In the peak season, they push their workers to work over time as much as possible to produce as much product to meet the customer’s orders. In this case, the workers are as same as machine, robot. Follow the news, some of them cannot stand for the stress and find the way to suicide,
Another moral issue that we need to concern about MNC is the tax duty. For large MNC, their profit is so high. But, most of them are not willing to pay the tax for the local government. They will try to reduce or don’t pay the tax. They may try to reduce the profit to below the amount to pay tax. Or, they will transfer all of their profit to other nations that have tax free. Recently, we may know about the Panama scandal. There are many MNCs setup virtual office there. Then, they transfer all of their money to Panama to free tax from the countries they are doing business. We should know that most of the countries that MNC doing the business are poor countries. These countries are really need the income from tax to spend for their public services. They need money to improve the hospital service, education, transportation, etc. MNCs get the profit from a nation but don’t want to pay tax. They look like a theft, or a robber.
I see that to let all of the large MNCs to obey to follow all of the moral issues. All of the nations need to have an effective cooperation. For the nations that MNCs are doing business, they need to have stable and strong policy that keep MNCs to follow to maintain the benefits of their own workers. They may offer them some of the benefits as tax reduce, land rental fee reduce, etc. But, they need to care on the working condition of their employees. On the other hands, wealthy nations need to consider about their tax schema. Their low tax policies many only help their nations, but it will damage so many poor nations. Besides the benefit of their nations, they also need to consider about the moral issues to poorer nations.