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Foxconn's Brazil Plan Stalled

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the brazilian-workers-rejoice dept.

China 153

hackingbear writes with an article from Reuters about Foxconn's plans to move iPad production to Brazil. From the article: "A much-hyped $12 billion plan for Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to produce iPads in Brazil, announced in April by President Dilma Rousseff during an official visit to China, is 'in doubt' due to stagnant negotiations over tax breaks and Brazil's own deep structural problems such as a lack of skilled labor and bad infrastructure, government sources tell Reuters. '(Foxconn) is making crazy demands' for tax breaks and other special treatment, the official added. Local media have reported that Foxconn is also seeking priority treatment at Brazilian customs, which is notoriously slow even by the standards of emerging markets."

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I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (-1, Troll)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573472)

Is Foxconn doubting that the workforce will be as pliant as it is in China? That's the only skillset that matters at that company.

Re:I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (2, Interesting)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573876)

In all seriousness: I have a close friend with family in Brazil. Last time he was there, one of his uncles was talking about his job: he mines gold. I am not entirely familiar with the process, but he mixes mercury with water and ore with his bare hands to do... I am not sure what.

When my friend's jaw dropped and told his uncle that he was killing himself, his uncle just told him, in less polite words "you are a real pu$$y boy, aren't you?"

Point? I am sure as stressful as the conditions in a Foxconn facility may resemble slavery, it can't be worse than what many are doing to "stay alive" already.

Re:I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (4, Informative)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574080)

Well, this kind of gold mining is not a common activity in Brazil. It's actually downright illegal but you can find a few miners doing this in remote areas, specially in the North, near the Guyana borders. I don't think the country is as bad as you seems to think it is. For sure, there's a lot of people living in the most abject condition, specially in North and Northeastern Brazil, but for most, it's just a normal country although a poor one. As a software developer I make more or less the same I'd make working in Southern Europe, for example.

Most of large electronics equipment manufacturers are located in the Manaus Industrial Park. I've had the chance to tour some facilities - both here and abroad - and safety conditions in most large Manaus employers are equivalent to what you expect elsewhere. Salaries are low, both so is the living cost. Work week is 44 hours and this is usually respected in industrial companies (overtime is common for professionals, almost everywhere in the world as far as I know). 30 paid vacation days per year, which is actually better than some other places.

The biggest problem, labor wise, in Brazil is law enforcement. The country is downright unable to enforce labor laws through the country. If you're working in a company that respects the law you're in a rather fine situation. If you don't have a job or have one outside "the legal economy" (like your friend family doing gold mining), then you're downright screwed.

Even then, there's universal health care and free public education everywhere. Quality is not that good, most middle or upper classes will have private insurance and schooling, but it's there including for everyone even expensive therapies (like HIV, or cancer, and so on) are included in the universal coverage.

In the end, I'm pretty sure that there are way better places to be. But it is not bad like you seem to think, and most people have way better conditions than being an almost slave in a Foxconn factory.

Re:I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (0)

hjf (703092) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576230)

I thought the Manaus area workforce was mostly natives they made come down from trees and put some clothes on...

Re:I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576318)

At least my former employer Manaus office is mostly manned by people from Southeastern or Southern Brazil but it's a software development company. I might be wrong today, since it has been a while since I was there. Industrial workforce it's probably most composed by natives. Anyway, skilled labor shortage is a serious problem. It became common to do some recruiting in Argentina or Uruguay since Brazilian salaries are way higher then theirs it's easy to hire, and there's no lack of skilled people in our Southern neighbors. I've seen some recruiting drives in Portugal and in Japan (mostly aimed at Brazilian expats).

Re:I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574104)

This is not commonplace here. Mining used to be bigger, but only in very few places.

Yes, small independent gold miners use mercury to separate the gold from the raw ore, and they use a blowtorch to evaporate the mercury afterwards. It's nasty for their health. It used to be common, but no more.

This is not to say that we don't have poverty. We do and we have a lot of it.

Still, Brazil is far from being like China, at least in the slavery department.

Re:I didnt know slavery was a skillset. (3, Informative)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574536)

I am not entirely familiar with the process, but he mixes mercury with water and ore with his bare hands to do... I am not sure what.

Gold and mercury form an amalgam. The idea is to crush the ore, which is something like 0.001% gold, then mix it with mercury. The gold dissolves into the mercury and the rock doesn't. After you've run enough ore through the mercury you drain it out and heat it to boil off the mercury, leaving only the gold.

And yeah, he's killing himself. When you boil off the mercury it turns into vapor and does Very Bad Things to anyone who breathes it and also pollutes the hell out of the countryside. There are 150 year old mining sites in the western US that still have unsafe levels of mercury.

Article fule of junk - opinion (0, Troll)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573490)

I never believe corporate statements anymore.

Brazil is the next Dark Horse Country after China. But they totally managed to escape notice.

How is that!?

Re:Article fule of junk - opinion (0)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573902)

Because China is starting to actually develop into a civilized country. They are going through an accelerated modernization process. They are doing what the US took about a century in about 10 years, and they are doing it all in large scale.

It's not necessarily admirable, since they are just copying existing processes, but they are getting attention that suddenly notices the parts that are still in a "pre-civil-rights" status.

Brazil is still the same Brazil it was years ago and from what I hear is only regressing, not evolving, so it has nothing to call the world attention it's way.

Re:Article fule of junk - opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573990)

All right, mod this flamebait! Whatever!

If Brazil is a "dark horse", why does it attract so many investments? Why are so many foreign companies coming to Brazil and why did so many others came to Brazil decades ago?

Yes, we have corruption problems. So does Italy, Greece and a lot of so-called "first world countries".

We have poverty, but it's nothing like Somalia or Vietnam. We still have a long way to go until we catch up to american standards, where the poor are few enough to hide in the ghettos.

So, if you want to know more, just read about it.

Re:Article fule of junk - opinion (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574244)

All right, mod this flamebait! Whatever!

If Brazil is a "dark horse", why does it attract so many investments? Why are so many foreign companies coming to Brazil and why did so many others came to Brazil decades ago?

Yes, we have corruption problems. So does Italy, Greece and a lot of so-called "first world countries".

We have poverty, but it's nothing like Somalia or Vietnam. We still have a long way to go until we catch up to american standards, where the poor are few enough to hide in the ghettos.

So, if you want to know more, just read about it.

Brazil is getting so much investment and attention lately for a very simple geographical reason. It is within timezones that make communication easier and more suitable to the American business day. Off-shoring of software development and IT to India has been a logistical nightmare and on top of that the best talent in India is commanding more and more money. The payoffs for offshoring to India are becoming smaller and smaller and the logistical problems are a leading cause for IT project failures associated with it. Brazil is easier to communicate with (corporations get preference on the international network), they have a large population of well educated IT professionals and cost of living is low so they are somewhat more affordable than equivalently skilled American talent.

Re:Article fule of junk - opinion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574424)

Because your transexuals are so much hotter than all the others.

Re:Article fule of junk - opinion (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575368)

american standards, where the poor are few enough to hide in the ghettos.

lol wut

Re:Article fule of junk - opinion (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575930)

Brazil is not the next China, it is the next Africa. The Amazon is on the edge of collapse and they are about to try to build a dam project which is going to have serious ecological implications as well

As for why they WANT to move to Brazil, it has to do with shipping.

Brazil (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573494)

Let us get this out of the way, since there is bound to have lots of posts similar to mine. I will make it short:

I am a Brazilian living in Brazil and it sucks...it really really sucks over here.

Re:Brazil (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573606)

Yeah sorry AC, sux to be you, but globally I have a 20 year watch on Brazil.

Re:Brazil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573686)

Let us get this out of the way, since there is bound to have lots of posts similar to mine. I will make it short:

I am a Brazilian living in Brazil and it sucks...it really really sucks over here.

sorry to hear that AC, but i am also a Brazilian living in Brazil and it rlz... most of the time at least

You must be on the take. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573718)

Given how much corruption exists, there really isn't a legitimate way for it not to be bad over there.

Re:You must be on the take. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574228)

"Bad" is relative. My own country sucks compared to US or Canada (from personal experience), but much better than China, and I'd imagine rather comparable to Brasil.

Re:You must be on the take. (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575510)

In China they appear to have at least made the decision to try to do something useful with themselves. China is run by engineers, the US is run by lawyers, and Brazil is run by nincompoops.

Brazil punishes its own citizens by forcing them to pay something like 20% import duties on technological items, all while apparently considering it no big deal if everyone runs their own backyard mercury smelter, going by comments above.

Never mind tax breaks, they should be offering Foxconn free hookers and blow if that's what it takes to get them to come in and modernize their economy. Ultimately it is their own people who pay the price for their government's insane policies, not Foxconn.

Re:You must be on the take. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576214)

20% no. It's 60% plus others like sales tax.

Re:Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573836)

I work for a company that does business globally (and of course in Brazil). The new protectionism there is pretty bad. For example, we can't buy a computer for use in Brazil unless it was made in Brazil. I don't know if that type of racket flows down to the normal folks or if it is just for multinational businesses (similar to how in Nigeria now Oil Companies can only buy computers made in Nigeria, but anyone else can buy any computer they want). Anyway, we have IT staff in Brazil and are trying to ramp up our services there. However, we can't even get computers for the employees because the government hasn't figured out their own rules yet.

Re:Brazil (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574102)

Did you try buying Dell? Or HP? Or just walking to the nearest corner computer store? That's how I usually do it...

Market protection for computer products was abolished in the early 90s... someone is screwing you, but it's not the government :)

Re:Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37575006)

Market protection for computer products was abolished in the early 90s.

They ended the outright ban, but they still have insanely high tariffs on imported electronics.

Re:Brazil (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574242)

For example, we can't buy a computer for use in Brazil unless it was made in Brazil.

So Brazil is unwilling to have foreign players who disregard worker health and environmental issues (like China) to devalue their own labor market? Impressive.

Re:Brazil (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574318)

Wow, wish they favored American-made goods over foreign imports here in the US. Our economy might not be in the fucking toilet if they did...

Re:Brazil (1)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574778)

Uh you wanna know why Brazil's economy was in dire straits through the 70s and 80s? Because they practiced exactly that policy. It's called import substitution, and it crushes innovation and efficiency like Comcast does small municipal ISPs.

Re:Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574128)

Yes that is right - all is good while the party lasts, but as soon as you need to do some serious shit the fucked up nature of bureaucracy gone wild comes a crashin' down on your head. I live here as well and I know exactly what you are talking about... I could go on for hours but (just like Brazil), it's not worth the effort....

Re:Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37575436)

I only have one question for you: Do you play Mordekasier? Huehuehuehuhe...

I'm not surprised... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573530)

It's not like Brazil had any obvious advantages over China. Apparently they were relying on some special breaks from the government. Absent those, they're prolly better off staying in China.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

tmcb (2136918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573612)

Brazil has a very protectionist economy. In the last 20 years (roughly), for every multinational enterprise that manifests some interest in settling on the country, lengthy rounds of negotiation are taken, mostly for discussing tax incentives.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574056)

Brazil is not so protectionist anymore like in the 50's and 60's. Like we use to say, Brazil is "spreading the legs" to foreign companies.

Contrary to what have been said in some other comments, foreign companies get tax breaks and huge incentives to come here. Some of them get free land and, in places where there's no infrastructure (power, water, etc.), the government provides it for free. Our president's "Worker's Party" strongest campaign argument was "creating jobs for the people".

Brazilian companies get nothing. Small businesses have to get loan from private banks at 5% per month interest!! The BNDES, which stands for "National Bank for Development" won't give small startups a f***ing dime!

I know it because I am a small business owner here in Brazil...

I wish foreign companies paid the same as we pay to get in business over here. I also have to say that I wish the government used that tax money to benefit the population, not their own bank accounts.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575422)

5% per month interest!!

That's 80% interest per year -- such a loan is impossible to pay unless someone is selling drugs.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

menkhaura (103150) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575808)

Pal, I live here, and this country is surreal; I can attest that what the GP told is true. 5% per MONTH, only that's not for businesses, that's for people. Enterprises pay a little less.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576264)

I wish i paid like foreign companies, not that they paid like me.

To wish the worst for the others is on the brazilian soul, and that's why it can't go forward.

Re:I'm not surprised... (2)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574266)

The main problem I'd that Brazil is missing the boat here big time. Apple wants Foxconn in Brazil so they can sell iThings IN BRAZIL for reasonable prices... That's the whole point of the extortionist tariffs and customs process... And their government is screwing up the deal.

I mean iPads, in the western hemisphere again... That's a big industrial coup even if it is Brazil.

Re:I'm not surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574538)

Hmm... the government wants its part. Foxxconn pays the Chinese government its dues, AND it will send extreme amounts of US$ out of Brazil (more than what it will cause to get into the country, otherwise _it would not be a profitable multinational corporation_).

You should know what kind of issues happen when the US$ gets rare inside a country nowadays, AND you're not the US federal gov. which will just happly print more and increase the internal debt.

So no, the brazilian gov. doesn't have to put its ass up and let the chinese shove their crap in.

All other complaints about excessive taxing, absurd issues with the seaports, and customs are valid, though.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573900)

It's not like Brazil had any obvious advantages over China.

May I suggest a few keywords that might change your mind?
Rio [topnews.in]
Havaianas [abduzeedo.com]
Carnaval [whitegadget.com]
Garotas [desktopnexus.com]

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574086)

It's not like Brazil had any obvious advantages over China.

May I suggest a few keywords that might change your mind? Rio [topnews.in] Havaianas [abduzeedo.com] Carnaval [whitegadget.com] Garotas [desktopnexus.com]

This is exactly the kind of garbage that make people abroad think that Brazil is only about Carnaval, women, beaches and Amazon forest.
And who often propagate that are people from Rio de Janeiro (an overrated shithole) and Northeastern Region.. Which are the most violent and underdeveloped parts of Brazil.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

fbobraga (1612783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575958)

coisa escrota... deve ser de carioca mesmo....

It's up to Brazil (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573588)

If Brazil wants to play on the international markets, they'll have to do something about their customs procedures.

Tax breaks for companies moving into an area are pretty much standard nowadays, unfortunately. I wish I could demand tax breaks like corporations do.

I wonder if the Brazilian government is trying to pin Foxconn down to provide suicide prevention services before they're allowed to depress and demoralize the Brazilian employees.

From one hellhole to another. (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573700)

Why should the company have all the fun?

How about targeting incentives for the potential workers (that is, you target the people that would work there) instead of letting Foxconn make another hellhole?

Re:It's up to Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573808)

Yea globalization has worked out so well for every country involved... I don't think it's occured to the leaders of all those nations that they give up alot of power over there own internal markets when they loose the ability to control it. Hitler was decades ahead on economic theory, he realized a free market is a threat to national security. It will probably take the USA another 50-100 years to realize the same thing, and even then politician don't like upsetting the status quo.

Re:It's up to Brazil (2)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574306)

I suggest you read the book The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. It goes into detail about how globalization takes a tolerable socialist cesspool for the population and turns it into a horribly miserable crony capitalist cesspool for the starving and unemployed population. It goes into detail about how they claim the investment and jobs will create wealth and rise the nation out of poverty, however they open the doors for foreign competition, infrastructure is built to the sole benefit of the foreign corporations, subsidies are forced to be removed for local industries making them unable to compete and laying off huge swaths of the workforce, and then corporations hire some of them back for pennies on the dollar while paying little taxes. It is not like this is a big secret though that people are just figuring out. It is just that the people who know this are powerless to stop it from happening. Governments that are non-compliant with free market reforms are generally punished on the currency exchange by large investors and they are not subject to international aid and loans from the IMF and World Bank. Governments quickly become insolvent and buckle at the international pressure to open borders and then that is how it all happens in a nutshell. I highly suggest picking up the book, you will look at the world in a much different light.

Re:It's up to Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574888)

How would a nation go insolvent if it had closed borders? Who is it owing money to??

Re:It's up to Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574496)

Our government is already doing a pretty good job at depressing and demoralizing the population. Skyhigh taxes, widespread corruption, crappy public health and education, shitty infrastructure everywhere and plenty of mismanagement and endless bureaucracy are what this government is known for. They don't need Foxconn if the goal is making people's lives miserable. Also, they probably don't see a good enough benefit in losing all the absurdly high imports taxes they're collecting on iDevices.

Insane (0)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573628)

Until corruption is fixed, the customs situation is positively addressed, protectionist tariffs and damn near ruinous taxation are removed Brazil needs to smolder in it's on shit for a couple of decades longer.

Re:smolder (0)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573654)

Nah, Give them 7 years and they'll fix it.

Brazil is the Ultimate Dark Horse.

Buy in now!

Re:Insane (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573684)

"It's" means "it is", you should use "its" instead. Also, "on" should be "own" and "shit" is quite vulgar, you should be ashamed of yourself for using such a word.

Crazy Foxconn, not crazy governments. (2)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573752)

Fix the corruption, keep the tariffs, and keep the taxes from being passed down to regular people over there.

Giving in to a company that wants to export Chinese thuggery isn't going to improve things.

Re:Crazy Foxconn, not crazy governments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37575200)

Fix the corruption, keep the tariffs, and keep the taxes from being passed down to regular people over there.

Aren't tariffs and corporate taxes passed down anyway? When a company gets taxed do you think the CEO writes a check from his own personal bank account? Prices are raised and/or employee wages lowered. I'd argue that corporate taxes are regressive instead of progressive. As for tariffs, another posted says that computers cost twice as much in Brazil as they do in the U.S.. Sounds like those costs are passed down too.

Re:Insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573810)

The "customs situation ..., protectionist tariffs and damn near ruinous taxation" are probably the only reason Foxconn considered building machines there to begin with.

What's New? (5, Insightful)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573706)

This is the oldest story in the multinationalist's book.

It happens with every industry. If it's not physically restricted to a particular chunk of land like mining or timber, corporations will shop jurisdictions, wringing tax and legal concessions out of every potential home. It's why banks incorporate in Delaware who don't even have branches or clients there, why Microsoft does a suspiciously large amount of business in Ireland, etc.

By the time they're done shopping their future home has agreed that they'll be exempt from environmental laws or that they'll never pay taxes if they'll please just give a few thousand people a job. It's just another problem with the kind of pathetic regulation that allows a corporation to declare their profit in one nation, their liabilities in another, their employees in a third, etc. to the effect that they're no longer just people (which is bad enough) but highly privileged citizens of a dozen countries at once. Yet with so few of those pesky liabilities other citizens must endure.

I know slashdot has a large contingent of social darwinists and let-it-all-burn libertarians and I'll get modded down for this, but I have to say that I'm sure Marx is laughing in his grave watching us fulfill his nightmares.

Re:What's New? (2)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573790)

Hardly anybody denies that Marx was an absolutely brilliant analysts. I've even heard a Cato speaker say just that--that Marx very accurately pinpointed a lot of the problems with the economies of his day (some aspects of which remain today).

What I think you're really getting at, is that Marx wrote about what we might today call "social dumping." That is, like water, production flows around the globe to the point of least resistance. India has cheaper lumber than the US, global production of lumber will be centered in India. The US makes the best and cheapest pianos--global production of pianos will be centered in the US (as it was in the first half of the 20th century, until it flowed away). Contrary to what you say, the one catch is really not natural resources, but labor.

This has been cited as one of the problems with the modern EU--social dumping. In some of the countries with strong social welfare and strong labor unions (and high standards of living for all citizens), many industries have been taken over by cheap migrant labor, often from Eastern Europe. This is a problem for welfare states!

I think it was Milton Friedman who said something along the lines of "You can have open borders or you can have a strong welfare state--but not both."

The disagreements re: Marx show up when it comes to solutions. Countries (or states) will always vie to attract businesses. And why shouldn't they?

Re:What's New? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573948)

> why shouldn't they?

Because "countries (or states)" muck everything up when they meddle in the economy. Brazil is historically no exception.

Why should a chinese sweat shop get to play by looser rules than a native-born small business? How will the native industry ever be able to compete if their own government creates artificial disadvantages for them?

Re:What's New? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574252)

Because "countries (or states)" muck everything up when they meddle in the economy. Brazil is historically no exception.

By that argument, they should just open the borders to anyone and everyone. In which case you'll likely see their home industry almost entirely owned by foreign corporations in a few decades at most.

Re:What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574546)

That's pretty much what we get here in Brazil already. Telecommunications, food production, supermarkets, restaurants, transportation, banking, mining and pretty much every industry here is actually owned mostly by foreign corporations and individuals. Our oil industry is currently one of the few exceptions, but only because the government insists in keeping control over it.

Re:What's New? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574416)

That's somewhat silly. Inviting in foreign companies -- and then copying them -- is exactly how China got where they are today.

Countries "meddle" in the economy when the impose taxes, regulations, change interest rates, regulate trade, regulate immigration, etc. Obviously not all of that is bad! Who is talking about sweat shops playing by looser rules?

I lean strongly to the libertarian, but your viewpoint is much harsher than mine!

Re:What's New? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575012)

impose taxes, regulations, change interest rates, regulate trade, regulate immigration...
I lean strongly to the libertarian,

I think none of those activities are especially popular among libertarians. Some may be ok with tariffs, some may like immigration regulated. Virtually none of them want trade regulated, none of them want government dictating interest rates.

Who is talking about sweat shops playing by looser rules?

The article talks about negotiations breaking down over taxes and regulations. If they weren't getting special treatment, they'd get no better tax deal and no better rules than the computer shop down the street.

Re:What's New? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575124)

I think none of those activities are especially popular among libertarians. Some may be ok with tariffs, some may like immigration regulated. Virtually none of them want trade regulated, none of them want government dictating interest rates.

Absolutely correct, none of those things are POPULAR amongst libertarians, but it's an extremely rare libertarian who would--for instance--say "no taxes, on anything, at all." It's a very rare libertarian who would say "no regulations, on anything, at all." There are many libertarians who don't believe in open-borders.

But really, you're just avoiding the criticism I made of your posts. Governments perform myriad actions that affect the economy both directly and indirectly. It's frankly silly to say that governments should never meddle with the economy, because that's basically what governments are made to do! Even if you're a "roads and military" (or just roads!) libertarian, guess what, building roads meddles with the economy. So, unless you're an anarcho-capitalist, your post is just kind of ... bizarre!

The article talks about negotiations breaking down over taxes and regulations. If they weren't getting special treatment, they'd get no better tax deal and no better rules than the computer shop down the street.

Is this true? TFA doesn't even contain the world "regulation." Do you have a different citation? Just curious what "looser rules" you're talking about since the article doesn't seem to mention that.

Re:What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576302)

Anyway, there's no such a thing as a libertarian in Brazil. All we have is socialists or social-democ-rats.

Then use the US's DoD for good and handle them. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573844)

The US has the ability to enforce near-infinite jurisdiction, try using it on multinationals for once. If the multinational's efforts at arbitrage are thwarted at every step, including lobbying efforts, they will find themselves having to reconsider their actions.

It would be amusing to see a multinational try to make an argument on humanity because all the folks in their business continuity plan are all in Guantanamo Bay or some black site. Doubly so if the people that sent work offshore were in a prison that was next to their factory or call center.

Re:Then use the US's DoD for good and handle them. (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574358)

The US has the ability to enforce near-infinite jurisdiction, try using it on multinationals for once.

First, a counter question, why isn't the US already doing that? The answer to that question explains why your entire post is utterly futile.

Re:Then use the US's DoD for good and handle them. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575810)

Only on American multinationals, which is probably one of the reasons why the likes of Seagate has moved its corporate domicile to Ireland.

Re:What's New? (2)

dolmant_php (461584) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573950)

While you make some accurate points, and I'm aware of the morale and other Foxconn issues, I don't think they qualify for this story about moving to Brazil. The complaints by Foxconn about Brazil are well founded. It is highly corrupt, and the taxes are abnormally high. Their workforce is indeed unskilled: a large portion of their population can read (that is, can pronounce the words), but is not able to understand what they are reading. The infrastructure (power, water, television) is paid for by the rich, and literally stolen by the bandits and given away or sold for very little to large populations. Moving a high tech manufacturing plant to Brazil without addressing these issues is an actual concern that makes sense, regardless of the company that is thinking about moving there.

Re:What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574030)

Then why consider Brazil in the first place?

Re:What's New? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574790)

Well, if you want a skilled workforce, working infrastructure, no corruption, people who can read and so on you're free to move to the civilized world.

I've for instance read how people complain on taxes and try to suggest how bad and hard it is to be a company here in Sweden. But then on the other hand you can expect all those things. Lots of things which may not work that well in other countries will work here.

Re:What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574620)

You left out the part where, while getting exemption from environmental laws and preferential tax treatment they then start complaining about "over-regulation". The corporate press and most Republicans will then start echoing and amplifying this until the masses start to believe it. Then the "job creators" get rid of even more jobs.

Re:What's New? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574628)

Sometimes government regulations are a good thing, and sometimes they're a bad thing. I'm not a libertarian purist that thinks all regulation is evil - I think there simply needs to be a balance struck at the right point. I don't think it's unreasonable to require smoke detectors in homes (the total cost of smoke detectors is a tiny fraction of the cost of a house), but I would be opposed to mandating sprinkler systems in detached homes. Balance, common sense, all that.

I've seen regulations put the companies of two of my friends entirely out of business - one was due to a conflict between state and federal laws that made it impossible for his company to pass a safety inspection with both the FDA and the state regulatory board. If they'd been a larger corporation, they could have closed up shop here in California and moved to a more business friendly state. They were a drug manufacturing company that was the only source for several rare chemo drugs that are used as drugs-of-last-resort for people dying of cancer and have run out of alternatives, so the regulation not only put him and their 70 employees out of business, but also fucked over cancer patients across the country.

You can't pretend regulations always protect the little guy - I just hope you never get certain types of rare cancers that now have no drug manufacturers for them.

So the competition does apply pressure on governments to not overregulate. Though those benefits are more reaped by the large corporations instead of the small, if a state passes more business friendly laws, then the smaller corps benefit, too.

That said, I think something really ought to be done about Hollywood Accounting and all those tricks that multinationals play to avoid paying taxes. Google's Double Irish, and the like.

Re:What's New? (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574730)

By the time they're done shopping their future home has agreed that they'll be exempt from environmental laws or that they'll never pay taxes if they'll please just give a few thousand people a job.

Perhaps a few thousand jobs are worth more than whatever corporate taxes they would have collected? I don't know Marx's stance on jobs, but I've heard they're beneficial to an economy.

Plus, some countries even tax the income from jobs. Strange but true!

Re:What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37575036)

If the Soviet Union and Mao's China show one thing it's that Marxists don't care about workers, they care about Marxists. As long as the army is fed during the famine, who really gives a fuck about the peasants.

BRAZIL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573770)

Brazil is totally screwed for any high tech company. I work for a fortune 500 trying to expand into Brazil, one of our biggest problems has been finding enough skilled labor. We have actually started sniping good people from our vendors and decided to train them up

On top of that their customs sucks big time. We have had some things take weeks to get through customs. I am of the opinion that we shouldn't expand down there, but we are.

Overall, Brazil is more expensive to operate in than the US. Heck we can't maintain the standards of work and or product we have set in the US and other parts of the world (including other third world countries.) Then we can't find products that roughly match our requirements, so we have to import and pay the 50% tariff on them. It is way cheaper for us to do things in other countries

Really the Brazilian government is screwing their people over. If they were to get rid of that tariff and streamline their customs, more foreign companies would invest in brazil and it (Brazil) would come out of it's third world country feel. Oh, and they also need to clamp down on the corruption.

Re:BRAZIL (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574612)

You make 3 points on your post. Lemme address them one at a time.

#1 Not enough skilled labor

IBM, Ericsson, Motorola and others would disagree with you. However, there is a different between "not enough skilled labor" and "not enough unemployed skilled labor". If you mean the later, then you are write, but you should have expressed yourself better.

#2 Price on imported parts

Do your homework. There is the Manaus Free Trade Zone. There is where most of the companies that need to import parts put their factories. Exactly so they don't have to pay 50% tariff on them, and all that. The rules there are very, very different. Several companies keep their factory lines there, while keeping R&D on other parts of the country, where they can get labors more easily.

#3 Government and Customs

"the Brazilian government is screwing their people over" - Couldn't have said better myself.

Re:BRAZIL (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575314)

However, there is a different between "not enough skilled labor" and "not enough unemployed skilled labor". If you mean the later, then you are write, but you should have expressed yourself better.

I think he expressed himself perfectly well. If all the skilled labor is already employed, then there is not enough for any more businesses to move down there.

Re:BRAZIL (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575506)

No. If all skilled labor is already employed, then there is not enough for any more business THAT WANT TO PAY PEANUTS to move down here. If they offer competitive salaries, they will get all the employees they need.

Brazil? No Way. (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37573892)

Panama or Costa Rica would be much better.

Re:Brazil? No Way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574052)

Brazilian rum is much better. Pay me in Ypioca Cachaça and I'll build you all the iPads you can sell.
Of course, they might only be useful as an Amazon Fire, but I'd be happy.

Re:Brazil? No Way. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575938)

All the uplands in Panama are heavily volcanic and you must assume they will be again, especially in this period of increased volcanism. One of the nicest towns is called Caldera, and for good reason. All the uplands in Costa Rica are either mushy, inaccessible, inhabited by some of the few remaining natives, or all three. Both are very crappy places to build something requiring massive infrastructure. The lowlands of Panama are known for fire and flood. Costa Rica, mostly just flood, because they are significantly more ecologically sensitive.

Um, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573952)

Clearly they need to get in touch with Elon Musk and start building these things in orbit. Right? Because it makes soooo much sense, right?

scientific output (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37573994)

China's scientific output already surpassed UK's. It won't be long before Foxconn will open a factory in the US.

Here's a crazy idea for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574068)

How about use some of that bailout money to move that plant down to South Carolina, give Foxconn all tax breaks they want and actually employ few AMERICANS.

Re:Here's a crazy idea for you... (3, Interesting)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574144)

Maybe because the SC state government is about as fucked up as the one in Brazil and can't be trusted to honor the agreements they've signed? Like the one with Amazon?

Not to mention our 3rd world education system. The football coach at my son's high school makes twice what the teachers make. Five of the kids in my son's homeroom can't sign their own names. Some of that good Brazilian run would be nice right about now.

Re:Here's a crazy idea for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574174)

Dont like SC? Pick any of the other 49 states...

Re:Here's a crazy idea for you... (1)

zr (19885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574180)

Oh and you're not suggesting Foxconn is in Brazil for their stellar education, are you?

Re:Here's a crazy idea for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37575524)

Not to mention our 3rd world education system.

I wasn't aware it was common in the third world to have quality education for free.
Although it's a fact that school level education in Brazil is inadequate, the same can't be said for universities. Our best universities are public, and 100% free. There are very few other countries in the world where getting a phd is that cheap.
The major problem with Brazil is the population who won't stop complaining about every little thing.

Re:Here's a crazy idea for you... (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574514)

Are you kidding? An ipad would probably cost $10,000 if it were made in the US.

Re:Here's a crazy idea for you... (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575464)

Then they will REALLY have a reason to complain about lack of skilled workers and corruption.

a lack of skilled labor (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574396)

you don't need skilled labor, the Chinese proved that, all you need is a few thousand people willing to kill themselves for a shit job, and the ability to follow instructions

Bad engineers... or bad salaries? (1)

daodao (1641121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574404)

Brazil does produce, even if not in sufficient numbers, very good engineers, some of which are exported to developed countries. As far as "lack of skilled labor", one has to wonder if the salaries being offered by the Chinese company are on a par with those in the Brazilian job market. Perhaps it's not the lack of good Brazilian engineers, but good Brazilian engineers willing to receive Chinese salaries.

Re:Bad engineers... or bad salaries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574450)

Have you seen how ridiculously high salaries are in Brazil? The salary for a competent Brazilian engineer will match that of a similar engineer in most European countries once you factor in the tax.

The only reason to do R&D in Brazil is if you're working on something that absolutely depends on being in loco. Otherwise, you're better off hiring people elsewhere, and it doesn't even have to be in China or India.

Re:Bad engineers... or bad salaries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574572)

Why would you work for the chinese? They're insulting, they think you're their slaves, they will do all sort of stuff that are _criminal offenses_ in Brazil, such as humiliating people in public, and treat the women as if they're shit. And they not only want to pay subpar salaries, they also try to force you to work insane shifts _without even the extra payment required for overhours by law_. Also, you have to tolerate "import" chinese bosses that are actually extremely incompetent, and were dumped here because someone wanted to get rid of them back there in China, but they had enough imporant friends in the party for that to be a bad idea.

THAT is why they can't find skilled labor in Brazil. We'd rather work for someone else.

big surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574480)

Brazil is a terrible country to have skilled tech labor. Whoever's idea this was is clueless about Brazil's people and culture. China blows them away, in part because only asians can endure and put up with the inhumane treatment of skilled laborer. Asians typically are very fast, hard working, and intelligent. Unless they are going to import these people into brazil I don't see how this will work, even if they get all the tax breaks in the world.

Raid your hand if you saw this one coming ... (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574580)

I called this shot 4 days ago, here on Slashdot ...

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2446794&cid=37517716 [slashdot.org]

Seriously, did anyone really believe this ? Look at the source. These guys (Mercadante et al) are 10x worse than your usual politician.

Re:Raid your hand if you saw this one coming ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574606)

#classemediasofre

Crazy demands, my ass. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37574940)

'(Foxconn) is making crazy demands' for tax breaks and other special treatment, the official added

No, Foxconn is asking for exemption from Brazil's fucking crazy taxes on any imported computers. Brazilians pay double what Americans do for a Mac, and those brain-dead protectionist tariffs apply to any factory equipment, too. Brazil could be an industrial giant to rival Japan or Korea, if they gave up these stupid Marxist ideas about "promoting local industry" by raising trade barriers.

That's something we don't lack... (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37574944)

Brazil's own deep structural problems such as a lack of skilled labor and bad infrastructure

I assure you, bad infrastructure is something we don't lack.

Brazil, things will only get better (1)

GalacticOvergrow (1926998) | more than 2 years ago | (#37575008)

I'm an American that is moving to Brazil for the opportunities. The are in desperate need of skill people. While most of the country is still very much blighted there are many bright spots, but the brightest spot to me is the people. I have been all over the world and have never met a people that are as friendly and welcoming as a Basilero. Before I first went there all i heard was how it was such a dump with much violent crime. In the 2 Years that i have been there I have seen a huge amount of renovation and no violent crime and I live in Novo Mundo, Sao Paulo. The biggest problem I had was speaking the language as not very many people speak english. From what I have seen there I think this Foxconn deal was premature, their infrastructure just cannot handle a Tech company that large. Maybe in 5 more years.

The good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37575660)

So, Brazil is a huge country. No really, look it up again on the map.
For those questioning tech and education in Brazil - it works for a few (look at PUC RIO and 'Lua' the programming language, which had it's origins at Tecgraf, etc.), but yes there are a large percentage of the population with a basic working education that would shame even other third-world countries.

The words you have to learn the hard way to do business in Brazil: "Ladrao, propina; jetto; jetinho; caixinha; graxa; troco; nota; acerto"- it is a very corrupt place, at all levels of local and national Government. In the northern state of Bahia, in Feira de Santana, their local town hall has put in place plastic screens in their town halls, so when the local councillors have their public meetings, the locals can no longer throw their coins at them with the usual chants of "you are corrupt, here is so more money for you greedy politicos..".

This is a just a bargaining chip by Foxconn -- they know the have to play hardball with the Brazilians to get a low as possible set of rates and agreements defined now, because once they move in and start production you can guarantee every local politician, policeman, federal employee will be looking for ways to draw out little bits of cash from Foxconn via newly defined tariffs, laws, outright bribes, and other less satisfactory ways.

If Foxconn pays what is asked, it can do what it wants. They want a large part of the forest cut down? Done. Kick those people out of their homes to build the new plant? Done. Consume 80% of the local power in a zone that already has regular blackouts and will potentially now experience more? Done.

Brazilians would sell their own grandmother for a dollar. (then steal her back later to sell again...)

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