Distorted world trading system – Martin Khor

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The lesson not learnt the late Martin Khor references after Seattle protests is that, while international policies through the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank suffered harsh criticism particularly from the South and civil society, new alternatives were made to push for even more liberalisation and unequal policymaking, like free trade agreements.

Free trade agreements are a rewriting of the rules that govern the global economy, promoting corporate interests at the expense of national priorities.

According to Martin, “whilst the main proponents of globalisation (the corporations and governments of developed countries) often advocate aggressively for the liberalisation of trade, finance and investment in the developing countries, they themselves continue to strongly protect sectors or aspects of their economies (for example, agriculture, textiles and the international movement of labour) in which they do not have a comparative advantage. Moreover, they have moved decisively to introduce tough intellectual property rights laws around the world, which are highly protectionist devices preventing technology access and transfer to the developing world.”

Produced by: Third World Network

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