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Economics 191

By Heidi Fischer


With recent entries into numerous agreements and associations such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization (WTO), there can be no doubt that United States leaders have been following the principles of globalization, and thus free trade. The WTO describes free trade as, “a system of rules dedicated to open, fair, and undistorted competition. ” This includes the slow elimination or reduction of trade barriers such as quotas and tariffs, but also provides for the protection of intellectual property, outlaws exporting below cost to gain market share, and requires a major reduction, and eventual removal, of government domestic support of industry (Understanding, 12). The United States supports these factors strongly, and it has also been at the forefront urging other nations to do the same. However, there is one sector in particular where its actions ring of hypocrisy: agriculture. This hypocrisy was glaringly displayed during the WTO Doha Agenda Cancun talks last September. Because it was unresponsive to the request by Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to decrease its domestic support to the cotton industry, the United States faced a formal WTO lawsuit in which Brazil charged that the subsidies paid to America

Year: 2004
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