Who's afraid of the WTO?
Who is afraid of the World Trade Organization, the WTO? The list appears to be long. Many workers, and especially unions that represent them, claim that WTO agreements increase import competition and threaten their jobs. Other groups emphasize the role of the WTO in the allegedly ill effects of globalization in general. Many environmentalists share this concern, claiming that the WTO encourages pollution and prevents governments from defending national environmental standards. Then there are human rights advocates ready to violate WTO rules by imposing trace sanctions in defense of human rights. Still other groups fear that the WTO compromises national sovereignty, taking away a countrys right to govern its trade and even its own domestic policies. This book is in response to the many misinformed and often hysterical arguments leveled against the WTO during recent protests in Seattle and elsewhere. In this timely and engaging volume, Kent Jones explains the compelling reasons for establishing the WTO as an agreement to promote world trade, and the consensus-based structure of all its enforcement mechanisms. While Jones does not dismiss the threat that recent political protests pose for the trading system, he does reveal the fallacies in their arguments and presents a strong case in favor of the World Trade Organization, with proposals for reconciling trade and non-trade goals in the world economy.