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International free trade, the WTO, and the third world/global south.


International flee trade is the bedrock foundation of the neoliberal globalization project. The World Trade Organization (WTO), established in 1995 to promote and manage international free trade, together with the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have come to be the global enforcers of neoliberal economic policies. The agreement establishing the WTO (1995) listed the following objectives the organization serves:
   raising standards of living, ensuring full employment and a
   large and steadily growing volume of real income and
   effective demand, and expanding the production of and trade
   in goods and services, while allowing for the optimal use of
   the world's resources in accordance with the objective of
   sustainable development, seeking both to protect and
   preserve the environment and to enhance the means for
   doing so in a manner consistent with their respective needs
   and concerns at different levels of economic development. (1)

Dani Rodrik points out that "it is clear from this preamble that the WTO's framers placed priority on raising standards of living and on sustainable development. Expanding trade was viewed as a means toward the end, rather than an end in itself.... In practice, however, these two goals promoting development and maximizing trade--have come to be viewed as synonymous by the WTO and multilateral lending agencies, such that the latter substitutes for the former .... However, the net result is a confounding of ends and means. Trade becomes the lens through which development is perceived, rather than the other way around." (2)

Still the distinction between promoting development and maximizing trade, with the former as the end and the latter as the means, serves as an excellent analytical lens to study the theory, the history, and the practice of international free trade. Development in the Third World/Global South is the lens and the goal through which to view and evaluate free trade.


William J. Bernstein writes that "few other historical inquiries tell us as much about the world we live in today as does the search for the origins of world trade ... While other animals, particularly primates, groom and share food with each other, systematic exchanges of goods and services, particularly over great distances, have not been observed in any species besides Homo sapiens.... Ultimately, two deceptively simple notions anchor this book. First, trade is an irreducible and intrinsic human impulse, as primal as the needs for food, shelter, sexual intimacy, and companionship. Second, our urge to trade has profoundly affected the trajectory of the human species." (3)

The systematic explanation and scientific justification for international free trade, however, came with Adam Smith (1723-1790) and David Ricardo (1772-1823). Smith's theory of absolute advantage says that everyone's economic interests are served if each country specializes in those commodities that its endowments (natural resources, skilled labor, technology, etc.) allow it to produce most efficiently, then trades with other countries for their commodities that they, in turn, produce most efficiently. Trade therefore is founded on the division of labor and specialization of skills. England produces more efficiently woolens than port, while Portugal produces port more efficiently than woolens, so England specializes in woolens and Portugal specializes in port, rather than both countries trying to produce both products. The result is more efficiency and productivity with no additional inputs from their endowments.

Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage is not immediately intuitive. Instead of assuming, as Smith did, that England is more productive in cloth and Portugal is more productive in wine, Ricardo assumed that Portugal is more productive in both cloth and wine. Based on Smith's intuition, trade would not be advantageous for England. Ricardo demonstrated that if England specialized in producing one of the two goods in which it bad comparative advantage and if Portugal produced the other, total output of both goods could still rise. To identify England's comparative advantage good requires a comparison of production costs between England and Portugal, hot the monetary costs of production, nor the resource costs (labor needed per unit of output) of production, but the opportunity costs of producing cloth and wine in England and Portugal. England would have a comparative advantage in the production of cloth, for example, if it can produce cloth at a lower opportunity cost than Portugal. The opportunity cost of cloth production is the amount of wine that must be given up to produce one more unit of cloth. England would have the comparative advantage in cloth production relative to Portugal if it must give up less wine to produce another unit of cloth than the amount of wine that Portugal would have to give up to produce another unit of cloth.

Another way to define comparative advantage is by comparing productivities across industries and countries. Portugal is more productive than England in the production of both cloth and wine. If Portugal is twice as productive in cloth production relative to England, but three times as productive in wine, Portugal's comparative advantage is in wine, the good in which its productivity advantage is greatest. England's comparative advantage good is cloth, the good in which its productivity advantage is least. To benefit from specialization and free trade, Portugal should specialize and trade the good in which it is "most best" at producing, while England should specialize and trade the good in which it is "least worse" at producing. (4)

But, Will Hutton reminds us:
   England, as Joan Robinson argued in the twentieth century
   and Alexander Hamilton in the eighteenth, gets the better of
   the bargain. It becomes a textile manufacturer and achieves
   the consequent technological and strategic advantages.
   Portugal meanwhile is locked into being an agricultural
   country, with a reduced chance of capturing the dynamic
   advantages of a developing industrial base. (5)

More apropos for our discussion, Joseph Stiglitz and Andrew Carlton point out:
   The theory of comparative advantage told South Korea, as
   it emerged from the Korean War, that it should specialize in
   rite. But Korea believed that even if it were successful in
   increasing the productivity of its rice farmers, it would never
   become a middle- or high-income country. It had to change
   its comparative advantage, by acquiring technology and
   skills. It had to focus not on its comparative advantage
   today, but on its long run, its dynamic comparative
   advantage. And government intervention was required if it
   was to change its comparative advantage. (6)

In other words, countries supposedly trade to exploit the advantages of their natural endowments like climate, resources, skills, culture, and so on. However, as the young Paul Krugman, before he became a newspaper columnist and the 2008 Nobel Prize winner in Economics wrote, since World War II, "a large and generally growing part of world trade has come to consist of exchanges that cannot be attributed so easily to underlying advantages of the countries particular goods. Instead trade seems to reflect arbitrary or temporary advantages resulting from economies of scale or shifting leads in close technological races." (7) In an age of intense technological dynamism, comparative advantage can even be created, and if created, manipulated and corrupted. And who does the creating, the manipulating, and the corrupting? Generally, those who have the power. Thus, international free trade is built onto a hierarchy of economic and political power that becomes the key determinant of outcomes between sectors in developed and developing countries.

Adam Smith and David Ricardo described the overall benefits of international free trade; they gave the systematic explanation of and the scientific justification for world trade. They, however, largely ignored the fact that a significant minority of innocent people was usually harmed. The frameworks that identify who wins, who loses, and how they react in international free trade were provided by the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem and the Stolper-Samuelson Theorem. The first theorem states that "a capital-abundant country will export the capital-intensive good, while the labor-abundant country will export the labor-intensive good." The critical assumption is that the two countries are identical, except for the difference in resource endowments, therefore the relative abundance in capital will cause the capital-abundant country to produce the capital-intensive good cheaper than the labor abundant-country, and vice-versa. The second theorem is the central result of the first and states that "a rise in the relative price of a good will lead to a rise in the return to that factor which is used most intensively in the production of the good, and conversely, to a fall in the return to the other factor." In other words, the Stolper-Samuelson theorem predicts that the main beneficiaries of increased trade would be the owners of the abundant factors in each nation: capitalists and laborers in England, landowners and farmers in the United States. The beneficiaries would favor free trade, while the owners of the scarce factor would favor protectionism. The theorem is "a framework that provides insight into the politics of global trade: who draws the long straw, who gets the short one, how the political fallout affects the fate of nations." (8)

More recently, a great transformation in the nature of world trade has been noted. Prior to the 1970s, developing countries overwhelmingly exported primary products rather than manufactured goods. Today, developing countries have recently become exporters of manufactured goods and even of selected services. Add to that is the emergence of China and India whose mere population figures skew quantitative data that involve them. Paul Samuelson and Paul Krugman have raised concerns that can only shake the foundations of what was considered to be the permanent marriage between the neoclassical economic profession and the sacrosanct article of free trade. Samuelson (2004) now argues that trade is not necessarily a win-win proposition for both partners. One nation can gain at the expense of another. It has been axiomatic that it makes sense for the United States to let the production of products migrate to countries than can make them more cheaply. We get the benefit of the cheaper products and get to spend our resources on more valuable work. But Samuelson calculates that if enough higher-paying jobs are lost by American workers, the gain from the cheaper products may not

compensate for the loss of U.S. purchasing power. (9) "In other words," Robert Kuttner concretely translates, "the low wages at Wal-Mart do not necessarily make up for their bargain prices." (10) It is particularly a problem, Samuelson concludes, in a world where large countries with far lower wages, such as China and India, are increasingly able to make almost any product or offer almost any service performed in the United States. The powerful drag of their far lower wages will begin dragging down our average wages.

Krugman is also concerned with the problem for low-wage workers in wealthy nations that the great transformation in the nature of world trade poses. To the extent that trade is driven by international differences in factor abundance, the classic analysis of Samuelson and Stolper which says that trade can have very strong effects on income distribution should apply. "In particular, if trade with labor-abundant countries leads to a reduction in the relative price of labor-intensive goods, this should, other things equal, reduce the real wages of less-educated workers, both relative to other workers and in absolute terms. And in the 1980s, as the United States began to experience a marked increase in inequality, including a large rise in skill differentials, it was natural to think that growing imports of labor-intensive goods from low-wage countries might be a major culprit." In his analysis, Krugman points out, first, that the old consensus that trade has only modest effects on inequality rests on old data. Second, there has been a dramatic increase in manufactured goods from developing countries since the early 1990s, and the surge involves a peculiar concentration on sophisticated products. "And it is probably true that this increase has been a force for greater inequality in the United States and other advanced countries." But, he cautions, that the changing nature of world trade has outpaced our ability to engage in secure quantitative analysis. We cannot quantify the actual effect of rising trade on wages. To put numbers to the significant distributional effects of the rapid growth of trade, we need a much better understanding of the increasingly free-grained nature of international specialization and trade. (11)

William Greider has written volumes on the economic and financial consequences of the financial deregulation in the 1980s, on the failure of American politics and the betrayal of American democracy by corporate capital, and on the manic logic of global capitalism, of which finance capital is the Robespierre. (12) In his latest book on the monumental financial collapse of 2008, he devotes an entire chapter to the second thoughts of four economic luminaries--Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summer, Alan Blinder, and Paul Krugman--on the sacrosanct doctrine of international free trade. "Global trade, they announced, is not a win-win proposition after all. In fact, the losers include the American middle class. If nothing changes, they warned, the freemarket trading system could be overwhelmed by a popular backlash. This represented a startling concession: Working people have been protesting for years about the inequitable results of globalization and were dismissed as wrong, but now their complaints were being deemed acceptable for discussion." (13)

For Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton's treasury secretary, who more than anybody else pushed for a global free-trade agenda, income inequality generated by globalization was a deeply troubling fact of American life. Family incomes have stagnated or lost ground, while capital and corporate returns have soared. This disparity threatens the future of the trading system and maybe even the stability of capitalist, democratic society. Lawrence Summers, who followed Rubin as Clinton's treasury secretary and who is now Barack Obama's chief economic advisor, is quoted as saying that "what the anxious global middle class is told often feels like pretty thin gruel." The basic problem "is the divergence between the fortunes of capital and the fortunes of labor." (14)

Alan Blinder, who served on Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and later as vice chair of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, declared that American workers are going to face even worse consequences in the future. Tens of millions more jobs are vulnerable to offshoring. These are not only factory jobs, but also in high-end occupations that are filled by well-educated people and members of the affluent middle class. Greider adds that "Blinder's insight essentially confirmed that counting on service jobs to rectify US trade problems was a hopeless proposition." (15) Paul Krugman, whom we have already earlier met, definitely backed off from his earlier contention that global wage competition was not to blame for the depression of US wages. Things have changed, he explained, and it turns out that American workers are right about the depressing impact on their wages. There is a dark side to globalization.

What frustrates Greider is that after admitting that the free-trade orthodoxy is at an intellectual dead-end, these true believers cannot offer anything more substantive than some sort of a "wage insurance," or enacting universal health care to help the "losers and paying for it by taxing the "winners," or improving the social safety net. Workers are right about their injuries from global free trade, but they cannot do anything about it. Old-fashioned protectionism would have ugly consequences for poor countries. Worldwide labor-rights policies will not have positive effect on US wages for many years. It would be a mistake to tamper with the status quo. This passive avoidance defines the trade establishment's political dilemma. "In essence," Greider writes, "the establishment is offering a helping hand to the losers in order to defend the theory." (16)

Thus, at a minimum, there are now voices from within the economics profession that are added to the chorus of popular criticisms regarding free trade. Among the latter are that abstract economic theories are built on sophisticated models that ignore realities in the world, merely labeled "externalities;" that factor endowments are not simply given, but can be created and manipulated, are arbitrary and temporary; that economic theories are rationalizations of the exercise of raw power. The more important question is whether concerns will also be raised and attention focused on the deleterious effects of international free trade on countries of the Third World/Global South.

We are going through a global industrial revolution. Greider notes that:
   What is different about this industrial revolution is that the
   discarded industrial workers and those toiling in low-wage
   sweatshops are not located in the same country. They are
   literally on opposite sides of the world. This matters
   tremendously in political terms because it means the
   consumers in affluent societies who buy the cheaper
   imported goods do not have to see how the workers who
   make them are mistreated. Consumers benefit from the ugly
   injustices and are insulated from them, even as they are told
   that the new workers are grateful for the opportunity to earn
   wage income, however meager it is and however inhumane
   the system.

      Both the displaced workers and the new poor are
   victims who are being exploited by the system, albeit in
   different ways. Both are on the same side in opposing an
   economic system that extracts great profits from pitting the
   two groups against each other. This is a very old story in
   capitalism, of course. What's remarkable in our time is that
   sophisticated opinion leaders are preaching the same
   bromides and excuses that were used when American
   children toiled in coal mines or English girls in the factories
   that poet William Blake called "the dark satanic mills." (17)


The history of international free trade offers three glaring insights into how free trade was actually carried out, not simply justified by mathematical equations. First, free trade was imposed by politically stronger nations on weaker nations, often through military means. Second, First World/Global North countries, in the early stages of their industrialization, did not practice free trade, but achieved industrialization behind the walls of protectionism. Third, the First World/Global North now dismisses and denies the Third World/Global South the very same reasons and practices that they used to initiate their industrialization.

Great Britain was at the height of its imperial power during the nineteenth century. Seeking to increase its profits, the British East India Company decided to grow opium in India, the jewel of the British Empire, and to smuggle the criminal product to China in exchange for Chinese silver. The illegal opium trade expanded rapidly and became very profitable. By the late 1830s, the Qing government realized that China had a trade problem as well as a drug problem. The opium trade not only drained large quantities of silver bullion from China, but also created serious social problems. When the Chinese government took steps to stamp out the illicit trade, British merchants who stood to lose money pressed their government into a military retaliation designed to reopen the opium trade. Lord Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary, ordered British troops to occupy coastal cities and to force China to surrender. Thus ensued the Opium War (1839-1842) that resulted in a humiliating defeat for China. It ended with the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, in which Hong Kong and Macao were ceded to Britain and which would only be returned in 1997 and 1999 respectively. The Qing government was compelled to open five Chinese ports to international trade, to extend most-favored-nation status to Britain, and to grant extraterritoriality to British subjects, which meant that they were not subject to Chinese laws. Under free trade, the opium trade flourished, and the British Empire, as Niall Ferguson designates it, became "history's most successful narco-state." (18)

As a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the United States came to possess the Philippines as its first and only formal colony. The "benevolent assimilation" of the country, President McKinley declared, after praying on his knees to the Almighty for guidance, would be a tutelage in Christian and democratic values. In 1909, the U.S. Congress passed the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act, which instituted "free trade" in the Philippines. Under this act, all American goods were permitted to enter the Philippines free of duty and in unlimited quantities, but Philippine exports, except rice, were allowed to enter American markets with quota restrictions. The Philippine Trade Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1945 was meant to insure the continuation of the unequal free trade relationship between the United States and the Philippines after the latter's independence in 1946. But its most onerous provision was the "parity clause" which granted equal rights to the citizens and business enterprises of the United States to the disposition, exploitation, development, and utilization of the natural resources of the Philippines and the operation of public utilities, with no effort made to extend reciprocal rights to Filipinos in the United States. They were not examples of democratic governance, but raw exercises of power politics. Thus, "the free-trade relationship, which encouraged producers to concentrate on a few specialized export products, meant the continuation of a dependent and predominantly agricultural economy in the Philippines.... Philippine-American economic relations thus retained a quasi-colonial character." (19) "At the same time that the United States was taking steps to train the Filipinos in the art of self-government with a view to eventual freedom, it was making the colonial economy progressively dependent on its own.... The Filipinos got off to a very bad start on the road to independence." (20)

Not only did First World/Global North countries wield "the imperialism of free trade" on weaker partners, but they themselves did not practice free trade in the initial stages of their industrialization. (21)

The best example, of course, is the United States under Alexander Hamilton as the First Secretary of the Treasury. Unlike Thomas Jefferson whose vision of the future United States was a society of small independent farmers, Hamilton's vision was of an industrial America. To achieve industrialization, Hamilton had three main proposals: federal control over interstate commerce, a central bank, and protectionism or tariffs on imported manufactured goods. In his "Report on the Subject of Manufactures" of December 5, 1791, he had a long list of such goods: iron, copper, lead, fossil coal, wood, skins, grain, flax and hemp, cotton, wool, silk, glass, gun powder, paper, printed books, refined sugars and chocolate. (22) His main rationale hinged on two points: first, free trade is beneficial between equal partners; second, between powerful and weak partners, free trade is beneficial to the powerful, but detrimental to the weak. The latter, therefore, should protect its industries in their infancy behind walls of tariffs until such time as they can stand on their feet and can compete equally with the more advanced partner. This the United States should do, Hamilton argued, as Great Britain had done before. This is what is today called the "infant industry" argument for protectionism, and "it was Hamilton who first turned it into a theory and gave it a name (the term 'infant industry' was invented by him).... Hamilton provided the blueprint for US economic policy until the end of the Second World War. His infant industry programme created the condition for a rapid industrial development." (23) Rightly is Alexander Hamilton considered the father of industrial America, the man who made modern America. Hamilton does not have a monument in his honor in Washington, D.C. Perhaps appropriately so since his monument is what the country itself has become.

Hamilton's theory would be further developed by the German economist Friedrich List who is often mistakenly known as its father and who has become a symbol of a vision of economic life different from the Anglo-American one. James Fallows contrasts the Anglo-American economic system with the German economic system, which has also become the Asian one, along the lines of automatic growth vs. deliberate development, consumers vs. producers, process vs. result, individuals vs. the nation, business as peace vs. business as war, morality vs. power. To boil down these differences, the Anglo-American system lies more toward the freedom of the individual and the operations of the market, while the German-Asian model leans more toward state intervention and the welfare of the nation as a whole. In the case of trade, the Anglo-American system promotes free trade, while the German-Asian model embraces managed or protected trade. (24)

But the point is that "the two champions of free trade, Britain and the US, were not only not free trade economies, but had been the two most protectionist economies among rich countries--that is, until they each in succession became the world's dominant industrial power." (25) One has to conclude that international free trade is less a matter of absolute or comparative advantages, or of sophisticated mathematical models and formulas, but of differential power. Free trade is imposed by a powerful country on a weaker one. It is an act of economic imperialism. In fact, Dani Rodrik points out that cross-national empirical "studies reveal no systematic relationship between a country's average level of tariff and nontariff restrictions and its subsequent economic growth.... The only systemic relationship is that countries dismantle trade restrictions as they get richer. That accounts for the fact that today's rich countries, with few exceptions, embarked on modern economic growth behind protective barriers, but now have low trade barriers." (26)

What do rich and powerful countries now say to Third World/Global South countries? That the latter should practice international free trade, that the justifications for protectionism that they gave in their past are no longer valid for the present of the Third World/Global South, that international free trade will redound to their benefit, will bring about growth in their economies and prosperity to their societies, that international free trade is a win-win situation for both the First World/Global North and for the Third World/Global South.

No better answer can be given than that of Friedrich List: "[I]t is a very common clever device that when anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him.... Any nation which ... has raised her manufacturing power and navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than to throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tones that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth." (27) No wonder the Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang (2002) titles his study of development strategy in historical perspective Kicking Away the Ladder, which won the 2003 Myrdal Prize. (28)

Similarly, 2001 Nobel laureate in Economic Science and former World Bank economist, Joseph Stiglitz, writes that "the critics of globalization accuse Western countries of hypocrisy, and the critics are right. The Western countries have pushed poor countries to eliminate trade barriers, but kept up their own barriers, preventing developing countries from exporting their agricultural products and so depriving them of desperately needed export income. The United States was, of course, one of the main culprits ... It not only hurt the developing countries; it also cost Americans, both as consumers, in the higher prices they paid, and as taxpayers, to finance the huge subsidies, billions of dollars.... Developing countries get especially angry over this sort of double standard because of the long history of hypocrisy and inequities." (29)

It is no surprise that OxFam titled its 269-page study of trade, globalisation, and the fight against poverty Rigged Rules and Double Standards. The study has a "Double Standards Index," which takes into account ten indicators of trade barriers facing poor countries in the richest and most powerful trading nations of the world. The European Union, followed by the U.S., Canada, and Japan in that order, employs the highest level of protectionist trade policies against exports from developing countries. This is the protectionist reality versus the free trade rhetoric of powerful First World/Global North countries. (30)


The original idea at Bretton Woods was to create three international agencies to manage the post-war world economy and thus prevent the emergence of the disastrous economic problems that led to World War II. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was to manage the world monetary system, to stabilize currency rates, and thus prevent beggar-thy-neighbor competitive devaluations. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IRBD), more popularly known as World Bank (WB), was to manage the transition of war-tom economies, to finance postwar reconstruction as well as development projects. An International Trade Organization (ITO) would manage the trading system, promoting and securing universal free trade. The United States, however, saw the ITO as too interventionist and feared that it would meddle in domestic economic affairs. It refused to ratify the Havana Charter in 1947, thus preventing the ITO from coming to be. With the onset of the cold war, the U.S. abandoned the idea.

In its stead the vehicle of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) came into being, although it was not meant to be permanent. Trade talks were conducted under the auspices of GATT in what came to be known as trade "rounds." The last of the eight rounds of talks was initiated in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in September 1986, and concluded in 1994 with a trade accord signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, which included an agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), which was established in 1995, a belated but more effective organization than was envisioned in 1948. Fear of the potential erosion of GATT agreements was reflected in the tougher enforcement powers of the WTO. WTO's judicial powers require it to rule on member complaints within one year, as opposed to a half decade under GATT procedures. WTO became possible when the United States became convinced that the new multilateral agency would not be able to overturn U.S. trade laws.

The WTO is an intergovernmental organization (IGO), i.e., it is composed of states, and the individuals who are sent as delegates represent the interests and policies of their home governments. It is based in Geneva, and consists of a permanent staff with a 2004 annual budget of $140 million. Its membership consists of about 150 nation-states that agree to abide by the terms of the WTO's charter, the Marrakesh Agreement. It monitors compliance with the rules and procedures that emerged from the Uruguay Round, and serves as a neutral third part to settle disputes between states. Most importantly, it provides a forum for states to address issues relating to trade, by bringing together state representatives once every two years. Its Ministerial Conferences, therefore, have replaced and regularized the process that evolved under GATT.

A review of the main issues in international free trade, especially as they impact Third World/Global South development, is illustrative of the actual practice and consequences of free trade, compared with the highfalutin rhetorical flourishes and sophisticated mathematical formulas of free trade fundamentalists. Most of these key protocols are found in the Final Act of the 1986-1994 Uruguay Round, signed at the Marrakesh Ministerial Meting in April 1994, consisting of about 60 agreements and decisions totaling 550 pages. (31)

Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). From 1948 though 1980, GATT reduced tariffs on trade in manufactured goods by more than 75 percent. Agriculture was excluded from GATT. By the 1980s the U.S. had embarked on a corporate model of low-cost, high volume agriculture and, in the process, had gained competitive advantage in large-scale food production. However, "when it comes to food," Paul Roberts reveals, "America's comparative advantage isn't the great quality of its land, or the fitness of its climate, or even the considerable skills of its farmers, but the nation's political inability to reform its farm policy," i.e., its enormous subsidies to American agribusiness. (32) Challenging GATT's Article XI food security provisions and arguing that "food security the ability to acquire the food you need when you need it--is best provided by a smooth-functioning world market," the U.S. initiated the Uruguay Round with the aim of liberalizing agriculture and services. (33) The rationale was given by U.S. Agriculture Secretary John Block: "The idea that developing countries should feed themselves is an anachronism from a bygone era. They could better ensure their food security by relying on U.S. agricultural products, which are available in most cases at lower cost." (34) Pressure from the First World/Global North and the promise of open markets for Third World/Global South products, including agricultural goods, won the acceptance of Third World/Global South countries, which promise was reneged on and caused the collapse of the Doha Round in 2008.

The 1994 Agreement on Agriculture provided a framework for the long-term reform of agricultural trade and domestic policies, made a decisive move towards the objective of increased market orientation in agricultural trade, and advocated universal reductions in trade protection, farm subsidies, and government intervention (WTO 1994). It reconstructed food security as a market relation, privileging corporate agriculture and putting small farmers at a disadvantage. It made food security subject to governance by the market, using corporate, rather than social, criteria. Philip McMichael (2008: 171) writes:
   Liberalization is evidently less about freeing trade than
   about consolidating a corporate food regime. Through the
   AoA, the WTO institutionalized the private form of food
   security. Under the AoA, states no longer have the right to
   self-sufficiency as a national strategy. Rather, the minimum
   market access rule guarantees the "right to export"
   (therefore the requirement to import), even under the
   conditions of subsidized exports. "Food security," then, is
   not food self-reliance but rather food import dependency for
   a large minority of southern states--those adversely affected
   by world dumping of northern food surpluses. By the mid
   1990s, half of the foreign exchange of 88 low-income food
   deficit countries went to food imports. Food-dependent
   states' food bills grew, on average, 20 percent between 1994
   and 1999, despite record low prices. Meanwhile, northern
   states continue farm support (a practice that has paralyzed
   WTO Ministerials in the twenty-first century). (35)

Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs). Host governments, local, state and national, of direct foreign investments often impose "performance requirements" to have some control over the investment and to direct the investment toward some social goal that the host government deems worthy of achieving. Such requirements might include expecting a transnational corporation (TNC) to invest locally, hire locally, buy locally, transfer technology as a quid pro quo for investment access, and adhere to local environmental laws. The purpose of TRIMs is to reduce, if not altogether eliminate, such requirements. Since trade is closely linked with investment, the WTO uses TRIMs to manage not only the cross-border movement of goods and services, but their production as well. WTO considers domestic requirements as misallocating local resources, raising costs, penalizing competitive investment, burdening consumers, slowing technological adoption, reducing quality, and retarding management practices. TRIMs would enhance conditions for transnational investment by reducing the friction of local regulations. As one proponent argues: "The multinational corporate community would then be able to rationalize their regional and global sourcing strategies on the basis of productivity, quality, and cost considerations in place of the political dictates that now disrupt their operations." (36)

The point of TRIMs therefore is to secure investor rights at the expense of the policy priorities, the environmental concerns, and the development measures of member countries. In fact, with only two exceptions, every health, food safety, and environmental law challenged at the WTO has been declared a barrier to trade. The only exceptions have been the challenge to France's ban on asbestos and a WTO compliance panel's determination that after losing a WTO case on the Endangered Species Act turtle protection regulations, the U.S. had weakened the law to sufficiently comply with the WTO's orders. The U.S. Clean Air Act has been weakened, U.S. laws to promote dolphin-safe tuna fishing, to reduce auto emissions, to phase out gasoline additives to protect groundwater and health, to restore sites after mining has ended, and to prevent destructive invasive species from entering the U.S. have been challenged or threatened at the WTO. If the United States could be so challenged and defeated, how much more for Third World/Global South countries for their "performance requirements" that promote sustainable development. A case in point is the Mexican municipality of Guadalacazar which refused a construction permit to Metaclad to develop a toxic waste landfill in an ecologically protected zone, and for which it was required to compensate Metaclad to the tune of $16.6 million.

"International law," McMichael points out, "regards only states as 'subjects,' and corporations (and individuals) as 'objects,' accountable to states, the historic site and source of sovereignty. As corporations have become more powerful, while they continue to operate under the international law radar in terms of accountability, the new 'trade' agreements appear to be empowering them as 'subjects' with rights to hold states accountable to their profitability requirements. Why should states sign on to protocols that would subvert their sovereign power and ability to represent their citizens?" (37)

Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). When the violation of property rights is mentioned in international trade, the image that it usually evokes is that of piles of pirated watches, CDs, DVDs, and computer software that are being crushed by a huge steamroller. Thus, the WTO would protect intellectual property rights, which it defines as "rights given to persons over the creation of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right of the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time." The TRIPs protocol, it's advocates claim, simplifies the protection of property rights across national borders, and protects and promotes creativity and innovation for everyone by guaranteeing profits from technological developments, biotechnological products and processes, and pharmaceuticals.

But the TRIPs protocol was defined by a coalition of twelve major U.S. corporations, a Japanese federation of business organizations, and the agency for European business and industry. It is, therefore, a corporate definition of intellectual rights, which includes patenting biodiverse and generic knowledges which should remain, as it has remained from time immemorial, available to humankind as a global "commons." It contravenes the terms of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, which confirms national sovereignty over genetic resources, and affirms the principle that nations are entitled to fair and equitable sharing of the benefits. It is one more weapon in the WTO corporate property rights arsenal of the North which already holds 97 percent of all patents to exploit the Third World/Global South which contains 90 percent of global biological wealth for the benefit of Northern lifestyle.

This is nothing less than biopiracy, the patenting of plant varieties, genes, gene sequences, and proteins in the Third World/Global South by commercial and industrial interests, the privatization of living organisms for the extraction of genes or the genetic modification of existing plants, like the rosy periwinkle of Madagascar, Brazzein, a powerful sweetener from a West African berry, biopesticide from an African cowpea, the neem tree and basmati rice of India. (38) And biopiracy is not limited to plant varieties. Attempts are being made to acquire human and animal genetic material and nonplant microbiological material. The entire living world is up for grabs in the effort to commodify natural endowments and resources. What started as an attempt to stem intellectual property piracy of Western consumer products becomes a reverse biological piracy that threatens the livelihood of peoples in the Third World/Global South.

General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). An expanding service sector has come to define the post-industrial countries of the First World/Global North. It is no wonder that they would protect, defend, and promote their human-made absolute and comparative advantages of the high-technology end of their service industries. The 1994 GATS opened markets for trade in services by corporations in the areas of finance, telecommunications, and transport. The 2000 GATS is a fundamentally more far-reaching protocol to compel governments to provide unlimited market access to foreign service providers. It imposes severe constraints on government's ability to protect environmental, health, consumer, and other public interest standards. It restricts government funding of public works, municipal services, and social programs. It guarantees access of private service corporations to domestic markets in all sectors. Every service imaginable is on the table.

Philip McMichael concludes:
   GATS threatens to replace the social contract between state
   and citizen with a private contract between corporation and
   consumer. The democratic claims of the citizen-state
   (expressed in municipal contracts for construction, sewage,
   garbage disposal, sanitation, tourism, and water services)
   would yield to the private capacities of the consumer-citizen,
   at the expense of the public interest and its development
   expressions. In this proposal, we see the elimination of all
   vestiges of the development state and its replacement by
   corporate services globally. (39)

Water is the ultimate human resource, but under GATS becomes the last infrastructural frontier for international trade and corporate investors. Only five percent of water services are in private hands, and expansion opportunities are estimated at a trillion dollars. If oil wars marked the end of the twentieth century, water wars may well define the conflicts of the twenty-first century. When a service is commodified, it becomes the property only of those who can afford it. Its availability on the market for some makes it scarce for others. Thus, the availability and distribution of a basic and precious resource like water will favor only those with purchasing power. Rain falls on rich and poor alike, on both the good and the wicked, but under GATS clean potable water will become available mostly to First World/Global North peoples, leaving the vast majority of Third World/Global South peoples not only hungry but thirsty as well.

Dispute Settlement The WTO has a dispute settlement system inherited from GATT and strengthened, through the Uruguay Round Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), by extending greater automaticity upon adoption of the panels' and appellate body's findings. It established a Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to exercise authority over trade disputes. The DSU requires a member to enter into consultations within 30 days of a request from another member. When a dispute is not settled through consultations, the DSU requires the establishment of a panel. Panel reports are considered for adoption within 60 days of their issuance to members, although there is the possibility of appeal. The DSU affirms that members shall not themselves make determinations of violations or suspend concessions, but shall make use of the dispute settlement rules and procedures of the DSU.

One persistent criticism of the WTO dispute settlement system is that its decisions are based solely on a one-size-fits-all economic consideration, namely, whether a law or a regulation impedes the free flow of goods and services, whether it is a restriction on the openness of the market and the freedom of trade, whether it interferes and puts at risk a foreign investor's ability to make profit. Laws and regulations that protect health, endangered species of animals and plants, and the environment, that ensure food safety, compliance with human rights, the livelihood of poor peoples, their development as nations, and the nondiscriminatory treatment of minorities that have been challenged at the WTO have been declared by its dispute system as barriers to trade. No other consideration--social welfare, environment, health, ethics, human rights, sustainable development--is allowed as a criterion in the settlement of disputes, except economic. Nothing is allowed to interfere with the free market in international trade.

One example will suffice. In 1993, with the formation of the European Union, Europe became a bigger market for bananas than the United States. Continental consumption averaged 30 million tons of the fruit versus 26 million tons in the United States. Among the elements of the consolidation of Europe were programs designed to aid former colonies. That included Caribbean banana farms that were given preferential trade treatment by European governments, measures that were designed to ensure the economic health of those recently-independent countries, to help the banana-growing islands keep jobs and emerge from poverty. Chiquita saw its 20 percent share of the European market cut to less than half. Carl Lindner, CEO of Chiquita, sought the help of the Clinton administration to argue that the European regulations were both unfair and illegal under WTO rules, a case of government policy mandating preferential treatment in what was supposed to be an open market. The day after Lindner's meeting with administration officials, the banana mogul donated $500,000 to the Democratic Party. In 1996, the United States lodged an official protest with the WTO, a case of the U. S. government acting on behalf of a transnational corporation, not of American workers. The WTO ruled in favor of the U.S. (40)

Democratic Deficit. It is usually pointed out that the WTO, in contrast to the IMF and the World Bank, has a democratic structure of governance. Voting in the IMF and the World Bank is weighted in favor of First World/Global North countries, based as it is on a country's monetary contribution. In the WTO, however, one country has one vote. But it is a farce of a democracy. What in reality happens is that a select group of countries is chosen to reach a consensus with the United States, the EU, and Japan in the so-called "Green Room," which consensus they then impose on Third World/Global South countries. Joseph Stiglitz and Andrew Carlton mention that "the Green Room process has been formally abolished, but small negotiating groups continue to set the agenda behind closed doors with inadequate openness and transparency." (41) In effect, all three international organizations, which have been entrusted with writing the rules of the game and with managing the global economy, reflect and pursue the interests of the First World/Global North.

According to Joseph Nye, of all the criticisms of and complaints against globalization, the key is the "democratic deficit" that people see in the management of the global economy by the three international organizations of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO. In a world of transnational economics and politics, democracy which demands participation, transparency, and accountability has become the touchstone of legitimacy. International organizations, therefore, are illegitimate if they are undemocratic. This is especially so because even if global institutions are quite weak and hardly threatening, their rules and resources have powerful effects. In a democratic system, minorities acquiesce to the will of the majority when they feel they are full-fledged participants in the larger community. Absent that, especially if they feel they are being run roughshod over by the majority, minorities will resist and rebel against their treatment. (42)

The democratic facade of the WTO was blown away at the 2003 Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico. The ministers were supposed to appraise the progress that had been made since the ninth round of negotiations was started at Doha, Qatar, in 2001, after the debacle in Seattle. Reneging on their promise of making concessions in agriculture and any other major issue of concern to the developing countries, the developed countries insisted on pushing their own agenda of reduced tariffs and opening access for the goods and services the EU and the United States wanted to export; they even wanted to impose new demands on the developing countries. The talks collapsed on the fourth day. Led by Brazil and China, Cancun instead saw the formation of a political bloc of Third World/Global South countries, the Group of 20.

Three Assumptions. There are three assumptions underlying the WTO. First, that international trade results in higher living standards. Second, that free markets as the basis of international trade promote the greatest benefits. Third, that the distribution of social benefits is of secondary importance; it is a technical issue and it is for the market to decide rather than for political solutions.

The basic flaw of these assumptions, as well as, of the entire theoretical and empirical superstructure constructed over them and used to justify international free trade, is the dismissal of the realities of power and the differentials of power, of politics and political processes. There are at least four factors that political scientists refer to when trying to understand trade politics. First, there are different preferences of domestic groups for protection or free trade, with trade policy being ultimately shaped by the preferences of the strongest groups in domestic politics. Second, political institutions may affect the formation of trade policy: they may shape the ways in which preferences of actors are translated into policy, and they may affect which domestic groups have the most access and voice in policy making. Third, factors at the international level shape trade policy choices with the nature of the relations among countries and the structure of the international system affecting domestic choices about trade. Fourth, using trade as an independent variable, the question is also asked how international trade itself affects states and the international political system; rising trade flows produce important changes in domestic preferences, institutions, and policies.

Four Criticisms. The numerous criticisms of and complaints against the WTO have been categorized under four headings. First, the WTO places economic considerations ahead of concerns for the environment, social welfare, and even human rights. The ideology of the WTO is neoliberalism, the spread of laissez-faire capitalism. Second, the WTO erodes national sovereignty. For a country to be integrated into the global system, it has to submit to the "Washington Consensus" of neoliberal policies. Third, the WTO is undemocratic. Decisions are supposed to be reached through consensus, but it is the consensus of First World/Global North countries. Fourth, the WTO increases inequality; it makes the rich richer and leaves the world's poorest peoples even worse off than they would otherwise have been. The global economic and political environment is not a level playing field. Rich consumers win; poor workers lose.

In the final analysis, Philip McMichael states that
   the WTO is arguably less about trade rule consistency than
   about governing member states via liberalization. Free trade
   is a misnomer for the reach of WTO rules. In combination,
   they challenge national democratic processes, removing
   decision making to nontransparent tribunals located in
   Geneva, Switzerland, using "market logic" to override
   individual government policy where it interferes with "free
   trade."... In 1994, World Bank economist Herman Daly
   warned: establishing rules to override national governments'
   capacity to regulate commerce "is to wound fatally the major
   unit of community capable of carrying out policies for the
   common good."... [T]he WTO expresses the essence of the
   globalization project. That is, global managers assume
   extraordinary powers to govern the web of global economic
   relations lying across nation-states, privileging corporate
   over democratic rights. (43)


Joseph Stiglitz admits that the list of valid complaints against the Uruguay Round trade agreement that culminated with the establishment of the WTO is long. (44) Many Third World/Global South countries feel that large industrialized countries used their superior bargaining power to force through agreements that disadvantaged poor developing countries. They had not been fully aware of the cost of the obligations they had agreed to, at the same time that they saw the liberalization in developed countries fall short of their expectations. The First World/Global North walked away from Uruguay with a large share of gains, while the Third World/Global South was worse off as a result of Uruguay.

Half a decade after the Uruguay Round, the 1999 Ministerial Conference convened in Seattle, Washington, supposedly to launch a new round of trade negotiations. Instead, Seattle became a scene of raging street battles and huge demonstrations, thus calling attention to the swelling popular anger at the policies of the newest institution of globalization

After Seattle, in 2001 Doha, Qatar, a far-flung location away from the maddening crowds of protesters and demonstrators, was chosen to launch the ninth round of talks. The document that launched the new round--The Doha Declaration--was full of noble ambition and promise. The trade ministers from developed countries agreed to make the round a development round. They noted that the world, through the United Nations, has come to recognize the imperative of reducing poverty in the Third World/Global South, by agreeing to a set of targets--The Millennium Development Goals. The developing countries, however, remained skeptical. Over the succeeding years their skepticism was justified. Negotiations stalled over the refusal of developed countries to cut back on agricultural subsidies. In fact, in 2002, the U.S. enacted a new farm bill that nearly doubled its subsidies.

The 2003 Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, collapsed, as it was earlier mentioned, on the fourth day of negotiations. True to its local Mayan meaning of "snake pit," Cancun ended in disarray. Never before had trade negotiations ended with such recriminations.

Hong Kong in 2005 followed, where for all practical purposes, nothing was accomplished. In Geneva 2008, the Doha Round of trade talks broke down for good over the same fundamental differences between the domineering First World/Global North and a newly assertive Third World/Global South. (45) The era of multilateral trade liberalization seems to be at an end, at least for now.

Is international free trade, based on the principles of sound economic analysis and social justice, after all a myth to hide the secret history of capitalism (Chang 2008)? A secret history that shows that developed countries in the early years of their development utilized the very protectionist measures they now would prohibit developing countries from using, thus kicking the ladder from under them? (46) A secret history that reveals that developed countries got enamored of free trade after territorial imperialism was no longer viable, that free trade for them is simply another means to maintain their imperial ambitions? (47)


I finished this article in the maelstrom of the Great Recession, the most serious financial meltdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s, that started in late 2007 in the United States and that has since engulfed the entire globe. It started as the subprime mortgage crisis that resulted from the bursting of the giant housing bubble abetted by the Federal Reserve. It soon sucked in the entire shadow financial sector of investment firms that was allowed to thrive unregulated beside the mainstream banking sector of the economy. It was there that the business of moving money around, of slicing financial claims, and repackaging them in newfangled financial instruments soared in profits compared with the actual production of useful goods. It was "greed layered on greed," Michiko Kakutani titles her review of two books on the economic disaster, "frosted with recklessness." (48) It was "self-inflicted," estimated to result in total losses of from $2 trillion to $4 trillion. It has caught the entire world in a global financial catastrophe, where jobs are lost, incomes disappear, businesses are ruined, and lives are precariously lived.

How was this monumental economic collapse allowed to happen? Above all else, the Great Recession is the colossal failure of democratic governance, mesmerized by the neoliberal ideology of the unfettered markets of raw capitalism. First and foremost, William Greider blames the Federal Reserve:
   It was mainly the Federal Reserve--sheltered from public
   scrutiny and protected from political accountability--that
   engineered America's great shift in fortunes. The Fed
   "hardened" the value of money and wealth with its
   successful campaign to suppress price inflation. Then it
   proceeded to encourage or passively allow the scandalous
   financial behavior that followed--wealth being concentrated
   in the financial sector, the growing inequalities between
   Americans, deregulation and the creation of dominating
   megabanks, and recurrent frauds and financial bubbles
   followed repeatedly by government bailouts of banks and
   financial firms.

   The Federal Reserve's policy essentially tilted the normal
   economic balance hard in one direction, and held it there for
   a generation. It favored wealth over wage income, creditors
   over debtors, capital over labor, financial investors over
   producers. It was as though the tectonic plates beneath
   American democracy and commerce were forced into a new
   alignment that favored the few over the many. (49)

What makes the situation more pernicious and perilous is that complicit in the events that led to the Great Recession are both political parties of Republicans and Democrats. Again, Greider:
   The point is that both major parties changed on the
   fundamentals. Despite their substantial differences, both
   moved toward the same objective--serving the elite sources
   of power, the people and firms that in earlier political eras
   were called the monied interests. Democrats became
   "responsible" managers who adhered to the conservative
   economic perspective of the bond market, as [Robert]
   Rubin, [Clinton's treasury secretary] and others counseled
   them to do. Republicans became the borrow-and-spend fun
   guys who delivered the boodle to more or less the same
   clientele. In different ways, both parties turned their backs
   on these policies' economic consequences for the broader
   ranks of Americans. (50)

The greatest beneficiary in all of this are the giant transnational corporations who now manage the Global Cultural Bazaar, the Global Shopping Mall, the Global Workplace, and the Global Financial Network. (51) They roam the borderless economies of the globe in search of the highest profits and the lowest costs; they rule the world. (52) More disastrously, these giant corporations undermine democracy. They feed on government like predators, harvesting vast tax deductions, subsidies, and contracts; rewriting laws and tax codes for their benefit; disabling labor rights and environmental protections. They collaborate to seduce regulatory agencies that oversee their sectors with endless challenges and political manipulations, settling in cash criminal prosecutions for fraud and other felonies. Above all, they have walked away from their obligations to society. John Coleman cites a reporter writing in the Manchester Guardian who claimed that "corporations have never been more powerful, yet less regulated, never more pampered by government yet less questioned, never needed to take social responsibility, yet never more secretive. To whom will these fabulously self-motivated, self-interested supranational bodies be accountable?" (53)

The Great Recession is a global seismic event. Globalization is in retreat. Global trade, capital flows, and immigration are declining. Much of the world now sees it as harmful. Nations, especially developing countries, that embraced the "Washington consensus" of open markets and free trade have been particularly injured. Not only that, but the era of laissez-faire economics has ended. The neoliberal ideology of raw capitalism has been found wanting. The Anglo-Saxon financial system is seen as having failed. Thus, the global downturn, and all its human devastation, has turned the political tide in a new direction. The role of the state is expanding again, and the reregulation of markets is being called for. (54)

But, as the New York Times (2009) editorialized, "there are few things that could do more damage to the already battered economy than an old-fashioned trade war.... The World Trade Organization forecasts that exports from developed countries will fall 14 percent this year, while exports from developing countries will contract 7 percent. The collapse is particularly damaging for poor countries that are heavily dependent on exports. But it is also intensifying the downturn in many rich countries. Reviving trade is essential for economic recovery."

There are signs that the collapse in trade and the rise of protectionist rhetoric are awakening leaders to the advantages of strong and fair international rules to keep trade channels open. That means reopening and bringing to a fruitful conclusion the Doha Round which was originally conceived in the wake of 9/11 as a way to encourage development in the poorest countries by providing them access to export markets in the rich world. That should still be its goal, an international trade regime based on sound economic analysis and social justice.


(1.) WTO, Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, 1995.

(2.) Dani Rodrik. One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.) pp. 213-214.

(3.) William J. Bernstein. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World. (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008.) pp. 8, 18

(4.) Steven M. Suranovic. International Trade Theory and Policy, 2007.

(5.) Will Hutton. The Writing on the Wall. Why We Must Embrace China as a Partner or Face It as an Enemy. (New York: Free Press., 2006.) p. 241.

(6.) Joseph E. Stiglitz and Andrew Carlton. Fair Trade: How Trade Can Promote Development. (New York: Oxford University Press., 2005.) p. 30.

(7.) Paul Krugman (ed.). Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press., 1986.); and Robert Kutner. The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity. (New York: Knopf, 2007.) p. 221.

(8.) William J. Bernstein. A Splendid Exchange. How Trade Shaped the World. p. 342.

(9.) Paul A. Samuelson. "Where Ricardo and Mill Rebut and Confirm Arguments of Mainstream Economists Supporting Globalization." Journal of Economic Perspectives 18:3 (Fall, 2004).

(10.) Robert Kuttner. "Rethinking Free Trade." Boston Globe, September 29, 2004.

(11.) Paul Krugman (ed.). Trade and Wages, Reconsidered. Google: Paul Krugman on Trade and Wages, 2008.

(12.) William Greider. The Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.); William Greider. Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.); and William Greider. One World: Ready or Not: The Manic Logic' of Global Capitalism. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.)

(13.) William Greider. Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country. (New York: Rodale, 2009.) p. 95

(14.) Ibid., p. 98.

(15.) Ibid., p. 97.

(16.) Ibid., p. 98.

(17.) Ibid., p. 110.

(18.) Niall Ferguson. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. (New York: Penguin, 2008.) p. 290.

(19.) Shirley Jenkins. American Economic Policy toward the Philippines. Stanford, (CA: Stanford University Press, 1954.) p. 41.

(20.) George E. Taylor. The Philippines and the United States: Problems of Partnership. (New York: Praeger, 1964.) p. 81, p. 133.

(21.) John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson. "The Imperialism of Free Trade." Economic History Review 6:1, 1953.

(22.) Alexander Hamilton. Writings. New York: The Library of America, 2001. pp. 711-731.

(23.) Ha-Joon Chang. Bad Samaritans. The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2008.) pp. 50-51.

(24.) James Fallows. Looking at the Sun: The Rise of the New East Asian Economic and Political System. (New York: Pantheon, 1994.) pp. 182-190.

(25.) Ha-Joon Chang. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. p. 57.

(26.) Dani Rodrik. One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth. p. 217.

(27.) Ha-Joon Chang. Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. p. 16, p. 224.

(28.) Ha-Joon Chang. Kicking A way the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective. (London: Anthem Press, 2002.)

(29.) Joseph E. Stiglitz. Globalization and Its Discontents. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.) pp. 6-7, p. 61.

(30.) OxFam. Rigged Rules and Double Standards: Trade Globalisation, and the Fight Against Poverty., pp. 98-121.

(31.) WTO. Legal Texts: The WTO Agreements. 1994.

(32.) Paul Roberts. The End of Food. (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.) p. 122.

(33.) Mark Ritchie. Breaking the Deadlock: The United States and Agriculture Policy in the Uruguay Round. (Minneapolis, MN: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 1993.) p. 25.

(34.) Paul Roberts. The End of Food. p. 130.

(35.) Philip McMichael. Development and Social Change. A Global Perspective, 4th ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge, 2008.) p. 171.

(36.) Ibid., p. 172.

(37.) Ibid., pp. 172-173.

(38.) Ibid., p. 175.

(39.) Ibid., p. 179.

(40.) Dan Koeppel. Banana. The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. (New York: Hudson Street Press, 2008.) pp. 221-223.

(41.) Joseph E. Stiglitz and Andrew Carlton. Fair Trade. How Trade Can Promote Development. p. 169.

(42.) Joseph S. Nye, Jr. "Globalization's Democratic Deficit: How to Make International Institutions More Accountable." Foreign Affairs 80:4 (July/August 2001).

(43.) Philip McMichael. Development and Social Change. A Global Perspective, pp. 267-268.

(44.) Joseph E. Stiglitz. Making Globalization Work. (New York: W.W. Norton, 2006.) pp. 77-78.

(45.) Stephen Castle and Mark Landler. "After 7 Years, Talks on Trade Collapse," The New York Times, July 30, 2008.

(46.) Ha-Joon Chang. Kicking A way the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective.

(47.) John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson. "The Imperialism of Free Trade."

(48.) Michiko Kakrutani. "Greed Layered on Greed, Frosted with Recklessness." The New York Times, June 16, 2009.

(49.) William Greider. Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country. pp. 43-44.

(50.) Ibid., pp. 182-183.

(51.) Richard J. Barnet and John Cavanagh. Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New Worm Order. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.)

(52.) David C. Korten. When Corporations Rule the World. (West Hartford, CT: Kumarian, 1995.)

(53.) John A. Coleman, S.J. "Globalization and Catholic Social Thought." In Christian Political Ethics, ed. by John A. Coleman, S.J. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.) pp. 183-184.

(54.) Roger C. Altman. "Globalization in Retreat: Further Geopolitical Consequences of the Financial Crisis." Foreign Affairs 88:4 (July/August 2009).

By M.D. Litonjua *

* M.D. Litonjua is emeritus professor of sociology at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, OH. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University, Licentiates in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila), and an M.B.A. from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. An earlier article, "Third World/Global South: From Development to Giobalization to Imperial Project," appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of this journal. He now lives in Louisville KY.
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Author:Litonjua, M.D.
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Date:Sep 22, 2010
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