In India, Union Carbide was a high-profile multinational company. A measure of that prominence was attributable to the role UCC and UCIL had played in the "Indianization" of industry in that country. UCC had been one of the first multinationals to invest in India, demonstrating willingness to offer expertise, readiness to comply with Indian laws, and acceptance of a gradual approach to developing Indian consumer markets. Union Carbide's investment had gained widespread good will or so they thought.
Whatever UCC contributions to national industrialization goals, the political arguments expediently recast as an archetypal multinational villain, exploiting India's people and resources. As legal actions proceeded in the United States, it became evident to this caricature was designed to gain access to Union Carbide's financial resources.
Critics frequently accuse multinational corporations of exploiting the resources and workers of third world countries. Agricultural businesses often take the best land and use it for export crops, which diminish the amount of good land that the locals can use for their own food needs.
Hazardous chemical industries take advantage of more lax safety regulations, which often results in disaster. Mining industries exploit the wealth of the country for only a few rich landowners. Since many of these natural resources are in finite supply, developing countries have little hope of relying on them for future security once they are used up. Manufacturing and service industries introduce poverty to many areas by attracting more people to a factory than they can employ. They typically pay much less to third world employees than to Americans, which suggest a double standard of labor value. If they pay wages to third world employees that are higher than what indigenous businesses can pay, then they attract the best workers, which hurt employers in...