Trade and Development – Exam
Question 1: There are two different explanations for why developing countries were late with engaging in GATT/WTO negotiations. One is that they held back until compelled to do so under encroaching globalization and forced liberalization of national economies, and the other is that they were always engaged, albeit in different ways. Explain each of these two positions and provide your own assessment of the utility of engagement.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an organization that was formed to supervise trade agreements between the member countries. Initially, it was called General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). When it was formed, the developing countries were reluctant to join the negotiations. One of the reasons that made them to join when it was late was because of the globalization and liberalization of national economies. Before they joined, they could not see any benefits. They thought that it was a way for the rich nation to benefit as they were being oppressed. This made them to be reluctant in engaging in the negotiations since they thought that they would be oppressed. Recently, they have started seeing the benefits of the organization thus they have been compelled to join by these effects. Additionally, the world is trying to move on globalization; therefore, it would be beneficial for the developing countries because they are going to gain a lot from the different agreements they are going to make. They will be able to acquire the technology that they did not have cheaply thus improving their economy. This reason has compelled the developing countries to engage themselves in the different negotiations since they have seen how they would benefit.
The second reason is that the different developing countries were already members but they did not participate in any negotiation. This is because the rules that were imposed by the organization did not go in accordance with what the mission of the organization was stating. The main aim was equality for all when the trade negotiations were being made. However, the developing countries saw that the rich nations were being favored because their tariffs were not removed while the developing countries were expected to remove their tariffs when they were trading. This made them not to participate in the different negotiations and instead concentrate on other matters that they thought would have helped them in developing there economy. Additionally, the developing countries at first did not have a stable economy that would make them to have a bargaining power. Therefore, they were not able to join the negotiations since they had more pressing needs on their own, which would make them not join in the negotiations. Therefore, it is for this reason that the developing countries were not engaged in the different negotiations but instead opted to solve their problems first.
Question 2: Should India and China be given a ‘free pass’ for the next round of climate change negotiations or should these two large developing countries be forced to commit to greenhouse gas reduction targets, even if by compulsion and sanctions?
The global climatic changes are continuing to occur causing the green house effect. Very many countries are polluting the environment thus different countries have been meeting so that they can be able to solve these issues. However, there have been a heated debate as to whether China and India should get a free pass in the negotiations or they should be forced to commit to the green house reduction targets. China is one of the biggest carbon emitters to the air causing pollution thus leading to the greenhouse effect and changes in the climatic patterns. If they continue like this, they will lead to global warming causing environmental degradation. However, China has refused to lower their carbon emissions and they are not even willing to help to solve this problem. This is because it will mean that their production units will have to go down making their economy to fall. Therefore, China has continuously resisted reducing their carbon emission and they are trying to influence other countries so that they can join forces in resisting this move. Hence, China should be forced to commit to greenhouse gas reduction targets even if it is by compulsion and sanctions.
On the other hand, countries like India have been in the forefront in trying to drum up support for the reduction of the carbon emission, which will end the problem of pollution and lead to climate changes. They have tried to influence countries like China so that they could follow the rules, which were put in place in Copenhagen. The rules stated that the industrialized countries like China and America should reduce their carbon emissions. However, the problem with India is that they have put conditions to these talks in that if the industrialized countries like China fail to do so, they will also drop in the talks and they will drum up support for the other countries to gang up against these industrialized countries. If this is to happen, it will cause more harm than good. Moreover, it will create enmity among the different nations, which can even lead into a war if it is not intervened. Therefore, it is because of this reason that India should be stopped in whatever they are trying to do; instead, they should be urged to use this opportunity without imposing conditions and instead they should try to create good relations. It is because of the reason that China should be given free pass but only if they are going to lower their demands.