· Question #1:
Let’s finish up this term with a discussion about moving our personal and business ethics into the international business realm. Let’s look at how ethics and laws span the concepts of all of our TCOs to date and discuss them in a realistic perspective, with particular emphasis on the multi-national company and the affects of laws in other countries on business in the U.S., and vice versa. The TCO topics have been:
B: Governmental regulation
C: Warranties and product liability
D: Contract law
E: Employment law and vicarious liability
F: Intellectual property
G: Antitrust and Fair trade activities
H: Corporate activities and the SEC
I: International ethics
Also, please review Marianne Jennings’ article on Why an International Code of Ethics Would be Good from Week 1. (The article is posted in Doc Sharing.)
To start this thread, do some Web research on a company which interests you and which is publicly-traded in some stock exchange in the world. Specifically, try to find one which operates in more than one country. Then, pick two of the above TCOs and explain how the law involving those TCOs would make it harder or easier to operate multi-nationally. Explain what problems a company would have.
· Question #2:
You are providing some great responses regarding our TCOs! However, before the week is over, we need to take a closer look at some specific concepts of international law.
Recall the phrase “do as the Romans do” that has been mentioned in previous weeks and consider this scenario:
You are a female executive with an American company (ABC Company). You are on a contract negotiation team. Your company doesn’t yet have any facilities/offices in Japan but wish to open some there soon. Your company has a policy of excluding women from negotiating contracts in certain countries due to those countries’ cultural practices. This policy of excluding female executives has recently been the subject of articles in several major newspapers and is causing quite a stir. The National Organization for Women (NOW) would like the company to take the position that its standards in the United States apply to all its operations. NOW maintains that without such a stance, true change will never happen.
What should your company do? Is this policy a good one? Does it violate U. S. employment laws?
Should your company stand up based on law and ethics and demand that it be allowed to use female negotiators in countries that treat women differently than we do in this country?
· Question #3:
Multinational companies like Nike need to be knowledgeable regarding international law in order to continue to be successful. Another international law concept we are going to take a closer look at this week is sovereign immunity. We’re going to use a case to help us do so. Please remember not to post the case decision or even to try looking it up. Let’s work through it ourselves.
United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) is a corporation formed under the laws of Kuwait. Its capital stock is wholly owned by the governments of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Iraq, and Bahrain. No single government owned more than 19.33 percent of UASC’s shares, and the corporation was created by a treaty among the owner nations.
Three seamen who were injured while working for UASC brought suit against it in federal district court in the United States. UASC maintains it enjoys sovereign immunity. The seamen claim it is a commercial enterprise and not entitled to immunity.
Who do you think is correct (the UACS or the seamen) and why?
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