Wednesday, February 7, 2007

World Trade Talks

World trade talks are set to begin in an attempt to resuscitate the current Doha round. As most will remember, the talks previously fell apart when the G-8 refused to bring their agricultural and other unfair subsidies onto the table. Many countries in the developed world were tired of the unfair burden that these subsidies placed on their populations. Farmers that are heavily subsidized in the G-8 are able to effectively dump their undervalued crops on the world market, destroying the possibilities of local farmers to compete. While on the surface, lower prices may seem like a positive fact for developing countries, the ramifications are actually quite negative. In most developing countries, rural areas are the most impoverished and these subsidies only serve to further decrease the ability of rural farmers to earn enough to support themselves.

While the bastions of neoliberalism continue to preach that free trade is the panacea to world problems, it is important to note that their actions indicate that this is just rhetoric. The most important thing for groups such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank is making the investors that rely on their recommendations happy. In large part this is due to the revolving door of companies and supranational instutions. Many of those hired by these international bodies come from the large corporations that benefit from neoliberalism and after serving in their positions, move back to the private sphere and profit from the decisions they made while at the IMF and WB.

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