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General News    H3'ed 2/19/10

Baseball, Rawlings Bring New Meaning to Free Trade: Postscript

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In 2006, this reporter shed light on the seemingly unfair labor practices taking place in the Central American country of Costa Rica, in a factory operated by the Rawlings Sporting Goods Co., Inc., and now a subsidiary of the multi-national corporation, Jarden Corp.

As we embark upon the 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) season, let us take another look back on this important issue regarding free trade and on that which has transpired since.

At that time, Rawlings was a subsidiary of K2, Inc., primarily a snowboard and in-line skate manufacturer. Then in 2007, Jarden absorbed all of K2's holdings and Rawlings became one of the many assets of Jarden's portfolio.

The Jarden Corp.'s holdings, prior to 2007, had primarily been in the consumer household goods industry, such as with Mr. Coffee, Oster, Holmes and CrockPot. It became pro-active in the purchase of outdoor clothing and camping equipment companies such as ExOfficio and Coleman and then with the purchase of K2, which owned Rawlings, Jarden became a force in the professional sporting goods industry as well.

But much like the way corporate takeovers can surface rapidly and on a global scale, with what appears as little hands-on management, corporations' goods are then subject to manufacture n far-off lands with little oversight, too.

And unfortunately, this accomplished strategy, having culminated primarily over the past 25 years, has enjoyed the muscle and delight of the U.S. government and other state governing bodies of countries throughout the world.

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Diane M. Grassi is an investigative journalist and reporter providing topical and in-depth articles and analysis on U.S. public policy and governmental affairs, including key federal and state legislation as well as court decisions relative to the (more...)
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