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Who's Afraid of the WTO? by Kent (Professor) Jones


Who's Afraid of the WTO? by Kent (Professor) Jones

Who is afraid of the WTO, the World Trade Organization? The list is long and varied. Many workers-and the unions that represent them-claim that WTO agreements increase import competition and threaten their jobs. Environmentalists accuse the WTO of encouraging pollution and preventing governments from defending national environmental standards. Human rights advocates block efforts to impose trade sanctions in defense of human rights. While anti-capitalist protesters regard the WTO as a tool of big business-particularly of multinational corporations-other critics charge the WTO with damaging the interests of developing countries by imposing free-market trade policies on them before they are ready. In sum, the WTO is considered exploitative, undemocratic, unbalanced, corrupt, or illegitimate. This book is in response to the many misinformed, often exaggerated arguments leveled against the WTO. Kent Jones explains in persuasive and engaging detail the compelling reasons for the WTO's existence and why it is a force for progress toward economic and non-economic goals worldwide. Although protests against globalization and the WTO have raised public awareness of the world trading system, they have not, Jones demonstrates, raised public understanding. Clarifying the often-muddled terms of the debate, Jones debunks some of the most outrageous allegations against the WTO and argues that global standards for environmental protection and human rights belong in separate agreements, not the WTO. Developing countries need more trade, not less, and even more importantly, they need a system of rules that gives them-the smaller, weaker, and more vulnerable players in world trade-the best possible chance of pursuing their trade interests among the larger and more powerful developed countries. Timely and important, Who's Afraid of the WTO? provides an overview of the most important aspects of the world trading system and the WTO's role in it while tackling the most popular anti-WTO arguments. While Jones does not dismiss the threat that recent political protests pose for the world trading system, he reveals the fallacies in their arguments and presents a strong case in favor of the WTO.


Professor Jones
excellent study should serve to dispel many of the fears and misconceptions surrounding the WTO, at least on part of those who are prepared to learn about that Organization. He provides a clear description of what the WTO is, namely an intergovernmental organization that works on the basis of consensus, as well as what it is not, namely a self

-motivated juggernaut taking decisions on its own and imposing them on poor countries. He also makes clear that the process of trade liberalization based on the WTO is a critical element, though not sufficient in and of itself, in achieving economic development and the attendant increase in living standards, labor rights, and environmental protection in the developing world. Finally, he provides some excellent suggestions for WTO members on how they can supplement its work, outside the WTO itself, to satisfy the concerns expressed by some of its critics. - Thomas M. T. Niles, President, United States Council for International Business The WTO has attracted an unusually high share of the anti-globalization rhetoric since Seattle. Much of it is tendentious and ill-informed and even comes from organizations such as the UNDP and NGOs such as OXFAM who are suffering from mission-creep. Any attempt to refute these unwarranted allegations is welcome. Kent Jones
efforts is therefore laudable

; that it succeeds is doubly pleasing. - Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Columbia University Kent Jones book, by providing an informed, as well as a simple, explanation of the rationale and workings of the multilateral trading system, makes clear that those who oppose globalization in their pursuit of good causes have actually picked the wrong adversary. Ernesto Zedillo, Former President of Mexico, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

About the Author

Kent Albert Jones, Professor of Economics, has taught at Babson College since 1983. He specializes in international trade policy, and is the author of Export Restraint and the New Protectionism and Politics vs. Economics in World Steel Trade, as well as numerous articles in academic journals.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st December 2003


Kent (Professor) Jones

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Oxford University Press Inc


248 pages




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