Cover image for Whose trade organization? : a comprehensive guide to the WTO
Title:
Whose trade organization? : a comprehensive guide to the WTO
Author:
Wallach, Lori.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
404 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Corporate Subject:
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781565848412
Format :
Book

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HF1385 .W348 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Revealing documentation of the WTO's persistent undermining of the attempts by governments around the world to maintain independent standards on everything from food safety and public health to minimum wage and the environment. Contains case-by-case studies that expose secret tribunals and lopsided agreements often arranged by the WTO.


Author Notes

Ralph Nader an American activist was born on February 27, 1934. In 1951 he was accepted at Princeton University; the university offered him a scholarship, but his father turned it away, saying it should go to a student who couldn't afford tuition. Nader graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1955. He then went on to Harvard Law School, where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws in 1958. For the past forty-five years, Nader has challenged corporations, government agencies, and institutions to be more accountable to the public. In 1965, "Unsafe at Any Speed" changed the face of the automobile industry and made Ralph Nader a household name. As a result of his efforts, cars have more safety features. His lobbying and writing on the food industry insured that the food we buy is required to pass strict guidelines before reaching the consumer. One of his greatest achievements was the 1974 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act that gave increased public access to government documents. This brought freedom of press to a new level, resulting in increased access for journalists.

Nader is a five-time candidate for President of the United States. He has co-founded numerous public interest groups including Public Citizen, Critical Mass, Commercial Alert, and the Center for Study of Responsive Law. He continues to be a relentless force for grassroots activism and democratic change in the United States.

(Bowker Author Biography) Ralph Nader, an American activist, was born on February 27, 1934. Nader has challenged corporations, government agencies, and institutions to be more accountable to the public. In 1965, his book "Unsafe at Any Speed" changed the face of the automobile industry and made Ralph Nader a household name. As a result of his efforts, cars have more safety features. His lobbying and writing on the food industry insured that the food we buy is required to pass strict guidelines before reaching the consumer. One of his greatest achievements was the 1974 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act that gave increased public access to government documents. This brought freedom of press to a new level, resulting in increased access for journalists.

Nader is a five-time candidate for President of the United States. He has co-founded numerous public interest groups including Public Citizen, Critical Mass, Commercial Alert, and the Center for Study of Responsive Law. He continues to be a relentless force for grassroots activism and democratic change in the United States.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

According to critics of globalization (see, e.g., Joseph Stiglitz's Globalization and Its Discontents and Wayne Ellwood's The No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization), decisions made by the World Trade Organization (WTO) have placed the pursuit of unrestrained foreign trade above labor, health, and environmental concerns and even threatened the practice of sovereignty itself. Here, Wallach (director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch) and Woodall (research director, Global Trade Watch) provide a text valuable for its detailed analysis of WTO decisions, the outcome of multilateral trade conferences, and the interests of multinational firms. The conclusions are stark. Through the power to enforce rulings over a broad area of domestic legislation, the WTO routinely reverses laws intended to defend public interests as "non-tariff barriers to trade." Such decisions are not only carried out in secret but also tend to favor rich industrial nations over those that are less developed; China, it should be noted, is one of a few states that have enjoyed remarkable growth outside of WTO membership. The authors are especially critical of the "Free Trade Area of the Americas," a proposed 34-member successor to NAFTA. A concluding chapter proposes a series of reforms amounting to a "180 degree turnaround" in WTO policy. Although this book is not balanced in that it does not assess the economic gains afforded by trade expansion, it effectively demonstrates the importance of a global trade regime and the consequences of one that lacks greater public accountability. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries.-Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This is a one-sided account of the activities of the World Trade Organization (WTO)--the current incarnation of a rules-based international trading system that originated in the US Trade Agreements Acts during the global economic disaster of the 1930s, and then was painstakingly developed through the postwar General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Throughout, these were efforts to institutionalize straightforward rules to foster free and fair trade, allowing countries to specialize in production according to their respective comparative advantage and harvest the gains from trade. Nobody ever contended that "free" and "fair" trade was easy or painless to achieve. Those who criticize this rules-based system do not like some outcomes of trade liberalization, or the process of getting there, so they have labored (sometimes violently) to torpedo its basic premises and implementation. There are plenty of warts in the system, and this volume discusses many of them. Governments have, indeed, periodically acted with considerable hypocrisy and have sometimes ignored objective findings in trade disputes. They have played politics with basic trade principles that underlie the process of economic growth and development. But this volume is so one-sided as to be at best useless to the reasonable, well-informed reader, and at worst misleading to the uninitiated. ^BSumming Up: Not recommended. I. Walter New York University