International Cotton Trade- the Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

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Submitted By j2palmer
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The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

The opening of this story begins with an organized student protest at Georgetown University, where author Pietra Rivoli, who is a professor of finance and international business, is watching the students arguing statements. This immediately captures my attention as it begins to describe a common characteristic of a major University that I live near and attend many events at. The University’s organized peaceful protest allowed the public speaking through protesting on the topic of the evils of big corporations and the explanation of how these big corporations, Globalization, The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the international Monetary Fund (IMF) are exploiting workers all around the world. One speaker alluding to “sweat shops” particularly caught the attention of the author by exclaiming, “Who made your T-Shirt”? This statement sparked Rivoli’s intrigue that is a great use of foreshadowing for what the story will lead to. The traveling of thousands of miles and across multiple continents to find out “who” really did make these shirts. We all wear our everyday cotton “tee’s” without giving a second thought about the journey each T-Shirt had to go through in order to make it here to the United States. This sets the foundation for the rest of the book and explains its purpose.
The first stop in this journey isn’t on foreign soil where I expected the book to lead off, but rather here in the Continental United States at the Reinsch Cotton Farm in Smyer, Texas. Having served with many people from Texas, people often make claims about the greatness of this massive state; however, cotton production has never been one of the claims. This first stop along the T-Shirts journey came as a huge surprise to me and it was even more of a surprise when I discovered the Reinsch Cotton Farm competes with farmers from so many…...

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