By and and and  on April 21, 2008

WASHINGTON — Labor unrest over soaring food and energy prices could soon trigger a spike in global apparel sourcing costs, forcing companies to raise wages to stave off starvation and rioting.

U.S. importers that rely on countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan for their product are trying to navigate in volatile and politically unstable environments. Their decisions are being played out as U.S. and international organizations scramble to provide emergency relief to millions of people who are struggling to feed themselves because food prices have surged an estimated 40 percent since mid-2007.

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