The Shortcomings of the Current International Trade System

2285 Words10 Pages
The Shortcomings of the Current International Trade System

The issue of trade has been a factor in the interrelations between nations since their conception. Throughout history there have been many different structures that encompass these trade relations. In essence, the state of trade between counties coincided with, and depended upon, their economies, social structure, willingness to trade, and their available resources (tradable products and services). Today's trade system is still formulated by these factors. However, there are many more concerns and actors which must be weighed. The current international trade system is, to say the least, much more complex. In its complexity, the trade system has also inherited a very controversial nature.

This controversy is focused on the true benefits of the current structure itself, which is labeled as trade liberalization. Within this paper I would like to address this controversy, and pose the argument that, The international trade system, as currently structured, does not serve to advance the interests of the North or South. Concentration will be directed toward the negative effects to the South, and secondarily on the long-term detrimental effects on the North.

In order to understand the current structure fully, one must know the history. With the close of the Second World War, the world's leaders resolved to build a global economy that would be far more institutionalized and constitutionalized than the prewar model. In their initial design, the United Nations would provide the international political stability. Furthermore, economic growth among nations would be characterized by "free multilateralism," driven by such organizations as the General Agreement on ...

... middle of paper ...

...ited Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Publications. Shafaeddin, Mehdi. Free Trade or Fair Trade? No. 153 : 2000.

5. Ibid. pg. 2

6. Ibid. pg. 3

7. Ibid.

8. The World Bank. World Development Indicators. pg. 311-333 Washington: 2000.

9. Evernett, Simon. "The World Trading System: the Road Ahead." Finance & Development v.36 no.4 (1999): 22-5.

10. World Bank pg. 311

11. Smith, Jackie; Moran, Timothy. "WTO 101: myths about the World Trade Organization." Dissent v.47 no.2 (2000): 66-70.

12. UNCTAD pg. 21

13. Islam, Shada. "East-West divide. Seattle WTO meeting to discuss child labor and other issues." Far Eastern Economic Review v.162 no.48 (1999).

14. UNCTAD pg. 22

15. Ibid. pg. 29

16. Legrain, Philippe. "Not an Ogre, but a Friend to the Poor." New Statesman v.128 no.4438 (1996): 17

17. Smith; Moran pg. 66

18. Ibid. pg. 68
Open Document