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Fri. Sept. 12th-WTO Forum: Debate on Free Trade & Globalization

also this a.m. 7:30-9 a.m. KBOO is talking about this issue on Positively Revolting Talk Radio, 90.7 FM
PDX-Fri. Sept. 12th-WTO Forum: Debate on Free
Trade & Globalization, Good deal or Rip-Off? PSU
Progressive Student Union, together with Portland
PSR, EJAG, Portland AfD, and other community
groups, are presenting this DEBATE on both sides
of the WTO controversy. 7 pm, First Unitarian
Church, SW 12th & Salmon St. $5 donation, no
one turned away. For more info call 503-725-7798.
Why has the World Trade Organization become a target of Antiglobalists? 03.Feb.2004 08:58

Ilija Djurkovic

At the 8th, the Uruguay round that was closed in 1994, was decided for GATT to change to WTO (World Trade Organization). This new organization included GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) and TRIPS (Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). The most important GATT rule is MFN (ofMost Favored-Nation treatment), it means that a member state can not privilege one county at cost of the other. There is exception of this rule for offshore zones and custom-unions, and, sometimes, for developing countries. In short, World Trade Organization is about promoting world well being by eliminating protectionism.

But, a conference that took place in Seattle at the end of 1999 with a goal of preparing a new liberalization round, became a fiasco because of serious polarization between United States and European Union (liberalizing the trade in agrarian products and genetically manipulated food), and between "North" and "South" (differences in the degree of work and environment regulations as a condition for the access to the free market). The negotiation climate came under extra pressure from the change in public opinion that turned against occurences, which were seen as side effects of globalization.

Market competition

After the lifting of barriers between countries, the trade tariff for both import and export business is lowered, which directly decrease the cost for international business. The declining on the price of foreign goods provides the price advantages for consumers, but in the same time bring up the price competition in local market. It impacts the competitive position for domestic leading company in certain industrial areas. It enhances these companies to compete its competitor with either lower profit price or draw out the market. Since big company has the ability to relocate its production plant in lower cost countries or raise its cost on the research for better quality and new type products. Local small and middle size companies (which don't have the ability to relocate its production line or invest in R&D) face the harder price competition than big companies and regularly lost their position in the market.

Unfair resource sharing

The free trade goal of WTO is not able to achieve the common sharing on resources and technology among member countries of the organization. Since the organization includes both developed, developing and under developing countries. Difficulties are found on the sharing of resource and technologies. The property right issue on technology eliminates the developing countries to share the high-tech technology from developed countries, which slow down the industrial re-construction in developing countries with the huge price that need to pay for property right. Anti-aids medicine production in South-Asian countries is applicable for certain case.
Increase unemployment

Refer to the market competition; with the shifting of production plant from local area to low labor cost countries by big size industries, unemployment is raised. The move of production plant caused companies to reduce the under-skill employees in the production plant. On the other hand, the increase price competition forced middle size companies to restructure its internal organization, which directly or indirectly used layoff plan to its staffs. The increasing imported foreign goods lower the production from local market. In certain case, unemployment raised fast.

Sum up with both three points, we see those are the main points for the anti-globalization. The raise of local market competition, the imbalanced resource sharing and the increasing unemployment will directly impact the community in the both developing and developed countries.