Tag: WTO

Differences between Bretton Woods world trade regime and the current world trade system governed by the World Trade Organization

The Bretton Woods system was the result of a grand financial conference at the culmination of the Second World War. The participants were delegates drawn from 44 Allied countries that were in coalition against the defeated Axis powers. The main purpose of the conference was to organize and regulate the international monetary and financial systems, which were thrown into disarray during the war. The chief outcome of the event was the signing of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The conference laid the foundation for the later emergence of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The priorities and economic models adopted by the WTO are a marked contrast to that of the Bretton Woods regime. The mantra of WTO since 1972 has been international trade liberalization. The Marrakech Agreement of 1995 officially replaced the other GATT regime. Although free trade is paid lip service, the arrangements are more favorable to countries and business corporations with bigger . . . Read More

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According to Rodrik, why is national democracy incompatible with deep globalization?

There are several contradictions between the concepts of democracy and unfettered globalization. Professor Dani Rodrik’s work on the subject is about elucidating these contradictions which is at the centre of many political debates today. One of main reasons why deep globalization is antagonistic to national democracy is the undue power wielded by international capital. For most part what appear to be foreign investments into a local economy is actually fluid speculative capital. If the investment firm perceives the return on their investment to be unimpressive then it would not hesitate to pull out capital from the financial markets. This would lead to a fall in share prices and huge nominal losses to the other stakeholders – local partners, local firms and the national government. So the power of international capital gives its wielders the power to dictate terms to local governments, which in turn undermines democracy and nation-oriented policy making. There are numerous . . . Read More

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Should developing countries be exempted from WTO rules?

There are many sound supportive arguments for the view that developing nations have to be exempt from WTO rules. This essay will look into these in detail, while also presenting the rationale behind opposing viewpoints. Foremost among the arguments supporting exemption is the historical disadvantage suffered by developing countries. For example, most of the countries whose economies are in transition today are erstwhile colonies of European imperialist states. As a result of exploitation and usurpation of resources during the process of imperialism, these nations were left highly indebted and economically weak. Hence, there is a strong case to be made for WTO rules exemption from a post-colonial reparation perspective. Alongside several emerging economies, many other countries that presently fall under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) category are former colonies for European imperialism (Cappelen, 2007). Moreover, the prevailing political chaos in most of these countries . . . Read More

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