Who's Afraid of the WTO?

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Oxford University Press, 2004 M01 29 - 248 pages
Who is afraid of the WTO, the World Trade Organization? The list is long and varied. Many workers--and the unions that represent them--claim that WTO agreements increase import competition and threaten their jobs. Environmentalists accuse the WTO of encouraging pollution and preventing governments from defending national environmental standards. Human rights advocates block efforts to impose trade sanctions in defense of human rights. While anti-capitalist protesters regard the WTO as a tool of big business--particularly of multinational corporations--other critics charge the WTO with damaging the interests of developing countries by imposing free-market trade policies on them before they are ready. In sum, the WTO is considered exploitative, undemocratic, unbalanced, corrupt, or illegitimate. This book is in response to the many misinformed, often exaggerated arguments leveled against the WTO. Kent Jones explains in persuasive and engaging detail the compelling reasons for the WTO's existence and why it is a force for progress toward economic and non-economic goals worldwide. Although protests against globalization and the WTO have raised public awareness of the world trading system, they have not, Jones demonstrates, raised public understanding. Clarifying the often-muddled terms of the debate, Jones debunks some of the most outrageous allegations against the WTO and argues that global standards for environmental protection and human rights belong in separate agreements, not the WTO. Developing countries need more trade, not less, and even more importantly, they need a system of rules that gives them--the smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable players in world trade--the best possible chance of pursuing their trade interests among the larger and more powerful developed countries. Timely and important, Who's Afraid of the WTO? provides an overview of the most important aspects of the world trading system and the WTO's role in it while tackling the most popular anti-WTO arguments. While Jones does not dismiss the threat that recent political protests pose for the world trading system, he reveals the fallacies in their arguments and presents a strong case in favor of the WTO.

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Contents

Flashpoint Trade The WTO under Fire
15
Why Countries Trade and Join the WTO
33
The Adjustment Problem and Protectionism
48
Whose Trade Organization?
66
The WTO and National Sovereignty
92
Trade Policy and the Environment
105
Human Rights Labor Rights and Trade Policy
125
WTO and the Interests of Developing Countries
147
NGOs Multinationals and Global Trade Governance
167
Conclusion The Gains from Trade and the Global Commons
186
Notes
203
Bibliography
215
Index
229
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Page 106 - Measures taken to combat climate change, including unilateral ones, should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade.
Page 100 - The dispute settlement system of the WTO is a central element in providing security and predictability to the multilateral trading system.
Page 106 - Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided.
Page 24 - For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul* Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?
Page 143 - Stresses that labour standards should not be used for protectionist trade purposes, and that nothing in this Declaration and its follow-up shall be invoked or otherwise used for such purposes; in addition, the comparative advantage of any country should in no way be called into question by this Declaration and its follow-up.
Page 100 - Recommendations and rulings of the DSB cannot add to or diminish the rights and obligations provided in the covered agreements.
Page 150 - The development problem of the less developed countries is one of converting a "traditional" society predominantly based on subsistence or near-subsistence agriculture and/or the bulk export of a few primary commodities, in which per capita income grows slowly or may even be declining as a result of population pressure, into a "modern...
Page 106 - Considering that there should not be, nor need be, any policy contradiction between upholding and safeguarding an open, nondiscriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system on the one hand, and acting for the protection of the environment, and the promotion of sustainable development on the other...
Page 68 - Organization (UNESCO), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF...

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About the author (2004)

Kent Albert Jones, Professor of Economics, has taught at Babson College since 1983. He specializes in international trade policy, and is the author of Export Restraint and the New Protectionism and Politics vs. Economics in World Steel Trade, as well as numerous articles in academic journals.

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