Historic advance: oppressed nations stage united walkout from imperialist trade front

dmschanoes dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 16 05:19:28 MDT 2003


Setback for advanced capitalism it is-- "historic advance of oppressed
nations" is something else again and that something else is wishful
thinking.

First, unless something has changed since the World Economic Forum held in
NYC a year or so ago, Cuba is not a member of the WTO.  It has attended
meetings in the past as an observer, but it's leadership role in any of the
discussions or agreements just isn't there.

Secondly, these talks collapsed, and the Doha timetable will not be met.
But it is not as if the developing countries walked out and decided to set
up their own trade organization to support each other's production.

Developing countries exports to other developing countries face tariffs  2
to 3 times higher than those levied on goods from the developed countries
(World Bank ).

80 percent of the exports of developing countries to the developed countries
are manufactured goods and a comparison of the ratio of tariff dollars
collected per dollar of imports in the  OECD on developing countries vs.
developed countries is 2:1.

Nor are regional trade associations likely to rescue the developing world
from the overwhelming influence of the advanced countries, and the economic
contraction in those countries.

The WTO's Trade Report 2003 states:

"The breakdown of intra developing country trade by region reveals also the
origins of the sharp deceleration in the expansion of South-South trade
between the first and second half of the 1990s, which was more pronounced
than for world trade.

....Regions with the most dynamic export growth in the 1990-1995 period,
developing Asia and Latin America, are also those that recorded the steepest
deceleration in their merchandise export (and import) growth in the
1995-2000 periold.  ASEAN and MERCOSUR recorded even steeper decelerations
of their export expansion than their home regions.

So the collapse of the WTO talks is indicative of the struggle for profits
in a contracting world economy.  And that is not the same thing as an
anti-imperialist unity among developing countries.

dms





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