Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sanctions or Concessions

In Saturday's New York Times, there is a column that adds an interesting perspective on the debate over internet policies ($) between China and American firms. Joe Nocera basically shows that companies like Google, Windows, and Yahoo! have actually been following the lead of Congress.

The author compares Apartheid South Africa to the current situation in China to make his point. During that time, some American companies chose to boycott South Africa with little actual effect on the policy of apartheid. It wasn’t until international sanctions were imposed that South Africa was forced to change. In dealing with China, the US government, along with the international community, has decided that dealing with China is better than using sanctions. Since that is the case, it shouldn’t raise major concerns when American companies chose to take a similar path. (That being said, there are certain actions - Yahoo! in particular - that were clearly wrong.)