Development With Trade: Ldcs and the International Economy : A Sequoia Seminar (A Sequoia seminar)

Development With Trade: Ldcs and the International Economy : A Sequoia Seminar (A Sequoia seminar)

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Since World War II, and prior to the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO), formulations of the rules governing international trade were almost entirely within the purview of the industrialized countries. The rules thus devised as part of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) -- the WTO's predecessor organization -- did not ignore developing countries, but accorded them special and different treatment. Development with Trade questions the value of these perquisites in lieu of rule-making participation by their purported beneficiaries.

The conventional treatment of LDCs' trade concerns as "special" and "different" is shown to be as deferential as differential -- extending the benefits of international trade to the few (someelites) within developing countries while denying those benefits to most. The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) accorded LDC imports within the GATT are characterized within this volume as being fraudulent. A product of implicit (at least) collaboration between the leadership of both industrial countries and developing countries: "a fraud perpetrated as much by the so-called leaders of the developing countries as by the countries that engage in such false generosity."

Though the Uruguay Round- the concluding round of GATT negotiations - is the explicit target of this book, its implications are of continuing relevance. China's entry into the WTO, for example, will be delayed to the extent that it is expected to fulfill, before entry, the same -- rather than special and different -- criteria for membership, as have other successful candidates.

Another example: the United States has won several cases at the WTO against the European Union's banana-import rules that sustain essential elements of the "special and different" regime. The Europeans are trying to "help" banana growers in colonies and dependencies of Britain and France, located mostly in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific islands - by structuring their market in order to give preferential access to bananas from those lands. If two wrongs could make a right, the core of an EU defense is apparent. It could be argued that such a special and different regime for bananas is required as a partial offset of the countries' other mercantile policies. Like the mounting evidence of decidedly negative effects upon trade opportunities for developing countries of the agricultural price and income support policies of the OECD countries (including the United State). D. Gale Johnson in Chapter 2 of this volume elaborates the documentation of this perverse phenomenon.

Development with Trade contributes, with other Sequoia seminars, to the recognition of a reciprocal, mutually reinforcing relationship between exclusionary (e.g., protectionist) international trade policies and the domestic institutions and policies of trading countries. This suggests, in turn, that the potential for including the excluded within any country may be critically affected by the magnitude of exclusions among countries. This volume makes clear that the inclusionary standard should be among the institutional elements of any future world trading system.