Erle Frayne Argonza
The World Trade Organization may be dead in the woods. We may need to prepare dirges as a form of respect for this deadwood institution. It isn’t working at all, this idea of global trade regime galvanized as WTO and the GATT before it.
Probably the idea of ‘globalization’ as proposed by contemporary thinkers, which concretely incarnated in the institution of the WTO, may have been badly incubated. It’s like forcing antiquarian ideas of free trade—writ by physiocrats of France (Quesnay et al) and Scotland (Adam Smith, et al)—unto a context that is altogether different.
Remember that free trade could have never worked at all without imperialism, that Smith’s idea of free trade was in fact a policy project of the British East India Company which had Smith on its payroll. Without imperialism, free trade can’t be enforced.
That is why there is another section of the world population called the ‘fair traders’ who opt for another paradigm track in place of ‘free trade’. I am among these sub-population of fair traders, no matter how odd fair trade may be.
Below is a news item released by the economist Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee, which pronounced the death knell on the WTO.
[18 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
WTO Dies, Brits Mourn
July 30, 2008 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC).
Yet another bankrupt institution of the British imperial world order of free trade and globalization bit the dust this week, with the thunderous collapse of the Doha round of trade liberalization talks of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In mid June, the British blueprint for European fascism, the Lisbon Treaty, likewise was buried by a plebiscite in Ireland.
European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, a top British imperial mouthpiece, summarized his master's voice on Doha's decease: "We missed the occasion to put into place the first world pact to redraw the world order." Visibly emotional, Mandelson added: "I'm afraid that on this subject an irresistible force met an unmovable object in the negotiating room, and the rest is history."
The "unmovable object" was the resistance of the majority of the world's population—as represented by the governments of India, China, Indonesia, and 90 other nations—as well as substantialpolitical forces in Europe and elsewhere, that refused to go along with slitting their own economic throats in order to please London.
For example, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to a highly annoyed Le Monde, reached the director general of the WTO, the Frenchman Pascal Lamy, on the phone on July 28, to tell him that, "in the name of the European people, he could not give his support to the agreement as it was." Le Monde complained about Sarkozy's activism, who in three days called numerous European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to explain his point of view. "France joined a 'coalition of the willing' whose objective was to increase the pressure on M. Mandelson," Le Monde wrote, "at the price of worsening divergences which appeared in the European camp. Along with Paris, there were eight countries, among which Italy, Ireland and Poland are members of the circle" which didn't accept the deal crafted by Mandelson.
The entourage of Mandelson, who refused to come to Paris when Sarkozy summoned him for discussions, is nagging: "France is putting into question the institutional mechanism... In the end, France will find itself alongside Cuba, Venezuela and Argentina," Le Monde sputtered, "and Germany will become the real pivot of the European Union."
Other international financial media also engaged in moaning and hand-wringing over the WTO demise. The July 30 Wall Street Journal ran an article headlined "Global Trade Talks Fail As New Giants Flex Muscle," in which they confess that the failure "leaves the so-called Doha Round of talks dead in the water... The setback could also signal an end to some 60 years of continuous expansion of global free-trade deals." And the Financial Times ran an article with a headline that just as well could have applied to the Lisbon Treaty collapse six weeks ago: "Negotiatiors Sift the Debris for Signs of Hope." They confess that none could be found.