It used “inexpensive labor,” Global-Tech Appliances wrote in a prospectus meant to attract investors on April 8, 1998. Its location in China meant “an overall effective tax rate that may be less than that of US corporations.” It said its current operations would not be subject to “material US taxes because it should not be considered to have significant income effectively connected with a trade or business in the US.”As far as Bain, Brookside, and Romney were concerned, this was quite a successful advertisement: Brookside bought 6 percent of Global Tech. Was it the prospect of avoiding U.S. taxes that made Global Tech so attractive? Was it the prospect of workers who'd work 10 hours a day, six days a week for next to nothing? Silly question—it was obviously both. Because not paying taxes and screwing workers are two things that Mitt Romney lives for.
The company also noted its working conditions: peak production periods required six-day work weeks, and two 10-hour shifts per day in the case of the metal stamping department. The main manufacturing facility, located in Dongguan, China, included 14 buildings that served as dormitories accommodating up to 3,700 workers.
Six percent was apparently the magic number; just a month before Brookside bought 6 percent of Global Tech, Bain bought nearly 6 percent of a competing company with Chinese factories. And the kicker is, it's not even clear that these are the investments Romney described in the recent hidden camera video, the ones with barbed wire and 120 workers to a bathroom in the dormitories. Romney just has too much experience investing in awful Chinese sweatshops to pin it down for sure.