Neoliberal Washington Consensus

For example, in 1987 Nike had 76% of its production in South Korea and Taiwan, by 1998 this had dropped to 7%, and 78% of Nike shoes came from Indonesia and China, as these were much lower wage regions. Nike exploits the poor Asian nations “where there is a ready surplus labour force in need of work and wages, even if those wages are below the poverty line” (Goldman & Papson, 1998, p9).

Thus, the only ‘credible’ policies were those set out by the neoliberal Washington consensus, that is policies that emphasized low fiscal deficits, low inflation, liberalization of international trade and financial markets, a smaller role for the state in the economy through deregulation and privatization.

The alliance between unions, labour movements and factory or owners fell to pieces with the increasing acceptance of the neoliberal agenda.

Neoliberalism is therefore the current economic paradigm that, by protecting the interests of the very wealthy and less than a thousand corporations, allows them to control public and social life so that their personal profits may be maximized.

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