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International Trade and Globalization

International Trade and Globalization

In today's world there are many issues in need of reformation, one of which is international trade, otherwise known as globalization. Although there are a great deal of rules, regulations, and policies imposed on international trade, the manner in which those rules have been enforced is a major controversy that seems to be escalating day by day.

At the center of the controversy is the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO was established in 1995 in order to transform the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) into an enforceable global commercial code. Critics of the WTO say that instead of being run democratically and in the interest of member countries, it has become the enforcer of corporate managed trade. A system whose ethics are not in favor of the public interest, instead the focus has shifted to large corporations and making money. Profit is the motivating factor behind decisions made by the WTO. By looking at international trade from the rational perspective, the WTO has not only failed to protect consumers, workers, and the environment, it has also acquired a number of opponents and protestors.

Recent issues concerning the WTO include President Clinton's signing of a bill, which grants permanent normal trade relations to China and virtually guarantees them membership into the WTO. Not concerned with China's communist regime that abuses its workers, supporters of the bill call it a "major victory for U.S. companies like Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Co., which hoped the deal would result in billions of dollars in new sales in the Chinese marketplace" (abcnews.go.com/wire/world/reuters). Once again they are demonstrating that the pursuit of wealth is it's number one goal and ignoring massive protests launched by American labor unions who argue that the pact could cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs due to an increase in Chinese imports and companies who may decide to relocate factories to China, where cheap labor can be utilized.

Another prominent issue concerning the WTO is organically produced foods, which have become a highly demanded product in the last few years. Countries take part in distributing and manufacturing foods because it has led to an increased amount of trade (increasing exports and minimizing imports). The parties that have benefited most from organically produced foods are farmers and agricultural businesses in other countries. But a negative impact would be increased competition among businesses. This represents a rational...

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