Dusty Kidd, vice president of corporate responsibility for Nike, said economic need is important, "but we've yet to really understand how you can predicate a worker's pay based solely on need and not on productivity."
"You've got to have productivity figured into how you pay people, or you just don't make a product at a price you can sell and make a profit," Kidd added.
The Global Exchange report agreed with Knight on one point: Nike has improved health and safety conditions at its plants.
But the labor-rights group urged Knight to make some new promises, including higher wages, independent factory monitoring and support for unions.
Mark, the Global Exchange spokesman, also said that stronger regulation is needed for multinational corporations, whether it is based on U.S. law or international law.
"In the absence of U.S. government regulation on multinational corporations, the only thing that's left is for citizens to police corporations, and/or for the corporations to police themselves," Mark said. "And we don't believe the corporations are policing themselves."