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Saipan: glimpse of the globalization life-cycle

February 16, 2009

by dna strands in my hair

What are the effects of globalization?  Adam Yamaguchi, Vanguard reporter for Current T.V., uses Saipan’s quick rise and fall as an example for the world to study.


“The rules of globalization means that international businesses never stop moving to places that pay workers even less,” reports Adam Yamaguchi on the effects of globalization in Saipan.

Saipan, a commonwealth of the U.S., was originally military territory during WWII. The abundance of cheap labor led to a textile manufacturing boom in San Mariana, displacing the garment industry in the U.S.

“What did globalization do for Saipan? What did globalization do to Saipan?” asks Yamaguchi.

The World Trade Organization allowed China to export without quotas and operate with minimum wages far below that of Saipan’s. Just as the U.S. mainland lost millions of manufacturing jobs to Saipan, Saipan’s 35 garment factories in 2005 were reduced to only 1 by January of 2009.

We study rats and fruit flies because they have very quick life spans compared to humans.  Saipan is like the fruit fly or rat of global economy: its quick globalization life-cycle can serve as a model for the world.

One Comment
  1. keito permalink*
    February 23, 2009 1:22 pm

    Globalization means never having to say you’re sorry! Or at least that’s what a lot of corporations think. It feels like businesses that have outsourced production have only started questioning the practice because of the issues with melamine and lead. I think your article and Yamaguchi’s video really draw attention to the human consequences instead of just potential health hazards.

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