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Global Trade

Global Trade

Greg Buckman


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Book Details


Trade, along with the free movement of capital, is at the heart of today's international economy. But international trade is an intensely political and contested subject. In this book, Greg Buckman details possible future directions in global energy supplies and balance-of-payments imbalances. He argues that, just as current trading arrangements have been the product of past decisions emerging out of apparently unrelated considerations, so factors like future fossil fuel costs, global warming, and the economic imbalances between North and South are likely to impel a radical reshaping of the WTO and the principles enshrined in its agreements as well as the global trading system in general. A key contribution to thinking about possible trade policy reforms are the reforms and alternatives - themselves not always agreed or sufficiently thought through -- advocated by the global justice movement. This book outlines these diverse proposals to make global trade more sustainable in some detail. This book has been written to be both informative and empowering. It is an important contribution to clearer thinking, more effective campaigning, and fundamental policy reform in the field of international trade.
Greg Buckman is former national finance manager for the Wilderness Society of Australia and is currently treasurer of the Australian Greens. He is also a past co-editor of their magazine, Green. He has undertaken extensive economic research, particularly on issues concerning globalization, forestry and energy. His long involvement with the environment movement goes back to the successful international fight to save the Franklin River in Tasmania in the early 1980s. He is also the author of Globalization: Tame it or Scrap it? published by Zed Books in 2004.
'An interesting new approach to global trade issues - part textbook, part critique of mainstream policies and part alternative perspective on where we might go from here. All of these angles are desperately needed and they rarely come together in mainstream texts. Here they do, updated for the main debates both in the corridors of power, the halls of academia and the meeting rooms of NGOs. This makes the book extremely valuable.' Graham Dunkley, author of The Free Trade Adventure (2000) and Free Trade: Myth, Reality and Alternatives (2004)

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents v
Figures and Tables viii
Introduction xi
1. A history of global trade 1
Early continental trade networks 2
Early trade links between continents 3
European global exploration 6
World trade in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 7
World trade in the eighteenth century 11
Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations 13
World trade in the nineteenth century 15
World trade in the twentieth century 20
Changing global trade players 29
Notes 32
2. Global trade negotiations 37
Trade negotiations since the Second World War 37
The Bretton Woods Agreement and the International Trade Organisation 37
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 40
The Uruguay Round 44
The Doha Round 46
New issues in the Uruguay Round 48
New issues in the Doha Round 62
Negotiating tactics within the WTO 68
WTO rulings 70
The retreat from trade multilateralism 72
Regional trade deals 74
High- and low-income country global trade shares 77
Different trade patterns of high- and low-income countries 78
Notes 80
3. High-income countries and trade 85
Trade fights between high-income countries 85
Trade fights between high- and low-income countries 89
High-income countries’ ‘client state’ relationships with low-income countries 91
The trade power of transnational corporations 92
The protectionist history of high-income countries 96
The downsides of trade liberalisation in high-income countries 99
Notes 103
4. Low-income countries and trade 106
The emergence of Third and Fourth World low-income countries 106
Future trade relations between low-income countries 112
Current trade relations between low-income countries 114
Trade fights between low- and high-income countries 115
The myth of low-income country manufacturing export growth 120
The free trade experience of Mexico 125
Challenges confronting low-income countries’ trade 128
Notes 130
5. Trade, poverty and inequality 134
The connection between trade and inequality 134
Global poverty 143
Global inequality 147
Changes in global inequality both within and between countries 151
Long term changes in global inequality 154
Notes 155
6. Trade and the environment 159
The environmental impact of moving goods around the world 159
The environmental impact of the WTO 165
The environmental impact of foreign investment 173
The global spread of trade’s environmental impact 175
Notes 179
7. The future of oil 183
A brief history of global energy use 184
Global oil demand since the Second World War 187
Future world oil demand 189
The world’s remaining reserves of oil 191
The peaking of global oil supply 195
Global warming 196
Alternatives to oil 199
Notes 203
8. The future of global balance-of-payments problems 207
The gold standard fixed exchange rate systems 208
The Bretton Woods exchange rate system 211
Today’s laissez-faire exchange rate system 214
Keynes’s alternative balance-of-payments proposal 222
The trade plight of least developed countries 224
Raw material export price stability schemes 227
Notes 230
9. The policies of the global justice movement 233
Origins of the global justice movement 233
Common trade policies of the global justice movement 239
Differences on trade policy within the globaljustice movement 244
Ideological battles within the global justice movement 255
Overview of the trade policies of the global justice movement 261
Notes 264
10. Global trade: lessons for the future 269
The evolution of global trade 269
The future of global trade 274
Conclusion 281
Notes 282
Suggested reading 283
Index 286