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World trade talks collapse

Discussion in 'Politics (deprecated)' started by Boss Hog, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Boss Hog

    Boss Hog TRIBE Member

    World trade talks collapse
    Cancun failure a big blow to WTO
    Poor countries declare victory


    CANCUN, Mexico—Talks designed to change the face of trade around the world collapsed yesterday amid differences between rich and poor nations, the second failure for the World Trade Organization in four years.

    Delegates from many poor countries celebrated what they called a victory against the West, and an increasingly powerful alliance of poor but populous farming nations said they had found a new voice to rival the developed world.

    "The developing countries have come into their own," said Malaysia's minister for international trade and investment, Rafidah Aziz.

    "This has made it clear that developing countries cannot be dictated to by anybody," he added.

    Poor nations, many of which had banded together to play a key role in negotiations, wanted to end rich countries' agricultural subsidies.

    European nations and Japan were intent on pushing four new issues that many of the poorer countries viewed as a complicated and costly distraction.

    Hours later, the meeting's chairman, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez, declared the meeting over saying: "Unfortunately, we didn't achieve the advances we had proposed to achieve" and pledging to work toward completing negotiations in the future.

    In the end, it was the diverging agendas of member countries that split delegates beyond the point of repair.

    Many poor countries accused the United States and Europe of trying to bully poor nations into accepting trade rules they didn't want.

    "Trade ministers have been pressured, blackmailed," said Irene Ovonji Odida, a delegate from Uganda.

    "Canada is disappointed with the results ... but we will continue to work on getting this agenda back on track and on keeping our eyes on the prize we all seek — a balanced and a critical global trading system that will benefit Canada's economy, as well as the developing countries," Sebastien Theberge, spokesperson for Canadian International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew told Canadian Press.

    The U.S. blamed some countries, which it didn't name, that it said were more interested in flowery speeches than negotiations.

    "Useful compromise among 148 countries requires a serious willingness to focus on work — not rhetoric," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said. "Some countries will now need to decide whether they want to make a point, or whether they want to make progress."

    His comments appeared directed at a group of mostly poor nations — often known as the Group of 20-plus — that emerged as the major opposition to the U.S. and European positions. The group represents most of the world's population and includes China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.

    Leaders of that group said they had brought concrete issues to the table that would be the basis for future trade talks.

    "We emerge from this process stronger than we came into it," Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said.

    Ecuador's foreign trade minister, Ivonne Baki, added: "It's not the end. It's the beginning.''

    Before the talks fell apart, delegates spent yesterday debating not the changes to farming policy that they had spent much of the conference negotiating, but instead four proposals dealing with foreign investment and competition.

    Delegates said the Europeans agreed to back off on three of the proposals, but insisted they be granted one. South Korea wanted all four taken up together, and African nations refused to negotiate on any of them, according to an EU official who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said given the irreconcilable differences, Derbez chose to end the meeting.

    The announcement took some delegates by surprise. One journalist ran into a briefing by U.S. trade officials, demanding reaction. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Josette Shiner was visibly startled and said she would look into it.

    The collapse was reminiscent of the downfall of talks in 1999, when street riots and divisions between WTO members sunk attempts to launch a new round of trade negotiations. In Cancun, there were protests as well, but they didn't gather the momentum that demonstrations did in Seattle.

    The failure in Cancun was a major blow to the WTO, and called into question the organization's ability to reach a global trade treaty by the end of next year — a goal WTO members set for themselves at a meeting two years ago in Doha, Qatar.

    "It's hard for me to believe that in the position we're in now we'll be able to finish on time," Zoellick said.

    But Amorim said real progress had been made, and that the WTO would continue to negotiate the same points in the future on the basis of advances made in Cancun. "It's a setback not to have a result now. But we are optimistic in the long run," he said.

    In the agriculture talks, poor nations had hoped to slash subsidies that rich countries pay their farmers, making it easier for their farmers to compete in a global economy. Some countries also wanted to lower the tariffs many countries charge for importing farm goods.

    Doing so could have dramatically altered farming around the world. Some farmers could have found new markets for their crops. Others would have struggled to compete without the subsidies that keep them in business. Consumers could have acquired cheaper fruits, vegetables and meat from distant shores.

    Advocacy groups sang and danced in the hallways of the conference centre as the talks collapsed. Many hugged one another.

  2. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    They still get there cheap medicines and there welcome to trade between one another in any way they damn well feel like.

    What the world doesn't need is more food flooding the export market. Canada doesn't need your beef, we don't need your wheat, we don't need your beans, we don't need your corn and we sure as hell don't need more cotton. We already have plenty in our own trade zone.

    I never much liked Molroney but I have to give him some credit. He picked one developing country and along with the USA we agreed to help one developing country. Mexico has been improving ever since and is beginning to meet its environmental and labour requirements under the agreement. Under the agreement we opened our doors to both some labour and we agreed to open our doors to finished products. We agreed to help out there finances and they agreed to start paying there workers more and more with each passing year. They agreed to rebuilding they're banking system and we agreed to help finance the process.

    Bananna republics don't work. They only work as long as everyone pretends that trade and charity are one in the same. We funded these republics for several decades and every one of them has been a disapointment.

    But its great to see china taking a lead. Maybe now they will be willing to allow foreign countries to ship them agricultural products!! Maybe now they will allow some of there neighboring nations to ship them finished products. Nah who the hell are we kidding this group of 21 is a joke.
  3. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    I don't understand why people get together to protest these talks(sometimes turning violent), when in reality, they should be demonstrating against their own politicians for supporting agricultural subsidies. Why demonstrate against the mere gathering of leaders from rich and poor nations to discuss trade issues?
  4. Boss Hog

    Boss Hog TRIBE Member

    Are you suggesting they don't?
  5. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    I don't prtest them because to be honest I don't want to see the economic impact of destroying the american farming industry. I don't want to see what happens when one of the largest industries in Europe collapses.

    and I highly doubt that the third world deserves to have them dropped. Maybe if they start paying the labour at a living wage I'll change my opinion but they have they're own worries to deal with.

    We don't need more food in the G8, we are in a state of over production. Why does the third world insist on producing more of what we simply don't need.
  6. ~atp~

    ~atp~ TRIBE Member

    Money, silly. ;)

    I'm always cautious around the leftish concept of "globalization"--it's another one of those memes that gets thrown around without content.

    On the one hand, there is some legitimacy to the claim that global economics via the WTO/IMF/etc has improved (at least temporarily) the conditions of certain populations. On the other hand, that improvement is only marginal, and is really designed to give a very small percentage of the population a very large advantage--the fiscal advantages tend to end up in the pockets of American or European companies who have set up shop in these work-for-cheap countries. Spurring economic activity by importing products that we don't need don't necessarily do the economy any good as a whole, but it puts money in the pockets of corporate business.
  7. derek

    derek TRIBE Member

    "Useful compromise among 148 countries requires a serious willingness to focus on work — not rhetoric," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said

    I thought this statement was priceless. someone in the us admin complainging about rhetoric.


  8. 2canplay

    2canplay TRIBE Member

    You don't have a bloody clue what you're talking about. What does "if they start paying the labour at a living wage" mean? Who controls the labour? Who controls the industrial production of many of these third world countries? Who owns and organizes the Maquiladoras in Mexico - Mexicans? Come on man.

    As well, (o my god, please don't talk about this subject anymore because your painfully ignorant on this topic) "the thrid world insists on producing more of what we simply don't need" because it's the only thing they can produce. It takes billions of hard currency to buy the tools/machinery/training/infrastructure to manufacture the "things we need" here (which I assume you mean cars/trucks/planes/computers etc.). Who supplies Bolivia with the money to modernize? Last I checked Bolivia was robbed of ALL of its silver by Spain. They have nothing but a giant debt now. Who is going to lend them billions of dollars to buy the machinery they need to efficiently produce goods that we, in the first world, would want to buy. That's why farming is so important to that society - in the present framework of international economy, it's the industry where they could have a productive advantage if subsidies where eliminated.

    I could go on, but I'm busy.
  9. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    but they only have a competitive advantage because they basically don't pay there work force and because they don't have to deal with pesky things like environmental protection, child labour laws or food inspectors. Its only cheaper when you use huge ships to move the goods around and these ships are only more cost effective when they are staffed by people getting paid almost nothing flowin with flags of convience in places where they pay no taxes.

    Additionally its not like they are going to use the food to feed the countries of there own nations all we're going to do is encourage the Ethiopia situation. A circumstance where a country is exporting food for profit on one hand and then being given food aid on the other to fend off endemic starvation. All we would be doing is bankrupting our own inefficient industries to provide them money to pay back the money they owe us. It’s the exact same thing except that we also lose out in the deal.

    Should the price of coffee be higher? SURE
    Should the price of cocoa by higher? Sound reasonable to me
    Should the price of grain be higher? Sounds alright

    But we're not gaining anything here!!! All we're going to do is up consumer prices on goods in the first world and increase the rural urban divide in the first world. In all respects we lose in the deal and in all respects we make ourselves dependant on foreign nations for our food production. Foreign nations that don't for the most part have to good a history of stability or of even feeding and clothing there own people when they could.

    I agree that it’s a problem when a nation like us or France for instance dump goods on the international market. But this group of twenty is being lead by china and Brazil, two countries that have been guilty of illegal dumping for decades. Why would we help the fishing industry of Uruguay when they simply ignore international fishing limits and troll the artic circle. Why would we drop or subsidees to the Atlantic fishery when they are being used to compensate fishermen for the closure of an over fished fisheries, when we have a half dozen south American countries ignoring the moratorium themselves.

    I feel for the fact that many of these nations have large debts and have a problem borrowing more when they already owe so much. But we didn't blow the money for them, they did. And for the most part Canada didn't lend them the money they blew, we were a net borrower until very recently. If they want to live like a first world nation then they're going to have to start acting like them and expecting us to destroy our own industries in favour of there's simply doesn't make any sense.
  10. wayne kenoff

    wayne kenoff TRIBE Member

    You sound like Mary Antoinette. "Let them eat cake."

    You poor people over there. Be richer.
  11. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Not exactly but your getting there!!!! Look arguing that the G8 should offer up sacraficial lamb industries isn't going to work. We're not going to give them up its as simple as that.

    Choosing China and Brazil as the leaders in your plight is even sillier. China has been dumping steel for so long know that a North American built car is almost as likely to be built with chineese raw product as North American raw products.

    There was a time 2 decades ago when South Korea was in the exact same boat. They're major export was agricultural produce, they had massive debts and they had starvation and unemployment. Well two decades of investing in schools and two decades of borrowing money to build factories that produce cars and electronics has left them within a hair of being a G8 nation.

    Austrailia, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, hell even the USA are all sattled in debt. In most of our cases our debt per capita is actually far worse. But we have invested in rail and in highways anbd in schools and in power plants rather than investing in swiss number accounts and you can see the differnece that corruption can cause.

    Why would we trade with countries that have nothing we need or want and that ignore international law all while being corrupt. Where is the benifit to us.
  12. wayne kenoff

    wayne kenoff TRIBE Member

    OK DM I get you about corruption, but I think that's secondary to the real issue here.

    Getting rid of farm subsidies and tariffs mean lower prices to the G8 consumer. They also provide a means for agricultural economies to grow, and implement the kind of changes you'd like to see. It's a win - win.

    Farm subsidies and tariffs do not benefit anybody but G8 farmers. It's special interest group politics, and it stinks.
  13. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    but its not a small industry!! And its difficult to argue what is and what isn't a subsidie. For instance the price of a 3 year old bull went from $600 to $100 in Canada. The farmers are arguing that a single winter of sillage will cost more than the bull is worth. They are justified in this argument between the heating and vet bills and sillage this cow will legitimately cost about $100 to winter.

    Thus it is in the farmers best interest to severly curtail there herds and to dump beef on the domestic market at 1/6th the cost. This would utterly devistate any country that exports beef to Canada, there beef simply isn't worth anything here because of an over supply. It will also utterly destroy our vencine, lamb, sheep, pork and chicken industries as a steak will cost less than a chicken drumstick. It will also have a devestating effect on corn farmers who use %90 of there crop to feed cows and it will have a devestating effect on the trucking industry. It will cost the rail industry and then it will take 10 years to rebuild the breeding lines and return ourselves to a healthy blood line again.

    Now a $200 a head governmane package will allow farmers to keep there herds for two years and ride out the effect of a single case of mad cow. On the east coast we pay fishermen to catch lobster and not cast there nets into the depleted north bank (an area still fished by south american and african nations illegally!!), rather than having them abandon the region or begin to fish norther species that need a much longer spawning season. This bailout package is given to prevent the economic ruin of not just the fishermen bu also the canners, and the shippers, and the local net makers and the local restuarants. If we allowed this market to only prosper during the good times the sway in emplyment would hurt not just newfoundland but also ontario as these same out of work fishermen would have to find employment elsewhere, you would see an increase in non unionized construction for instance and else where as well. Thus we subsidies the liveliy hoods of one group to prevent damage to completely unrelated industries elsewhere.

    In determination of health standards it was found that people require a certain amount of Milk in there diet especially as children in the USA. Milk production is a constant a cow must be milked twice a day or it will stop producing milk and will require unacceptable hormones to begin producing milk again (a common practice in south america!!!!!!) thus during summer months when milk utilization goes down (ice cream sold in summer is generally made in winter believe it or not) milk is poored out so that during peek months the production fills the demand. The milk that is poored on to the ground is first bought by the government as it is seen as being a better sollution than having supply and demand spikes that would change the price of milk and would have a horrible effect on the health of poor children. This is called a subsidie but its not without a precident.

    Japan does not allow the importation of rice. They argue that rice production is a historic and cultural aspect of there society and that it is also a usage for there internal labour that isn't all that educated. France has wine vines that are twice the age of Canada as a country, during periods of draught the governments help the farmers and subsidies them to prevent the cultural loss of a wine region. They also fight to argue that champaign is champaign because it comes from champaign grown on a vine called a chanpaign grape, to them if you want to sell sparkling wine its an infringement to call it champaign if it didn't come from this region and wasn't bottled according to tradition. The basis of there current culture stems from a peasent revolution which said that they were no longer the vassels on the land but were now the land owners. This land has been passed down from father to son for 400+ years and they have formed a stable society because of it. To bankrupt these farms will crush not just farming but will also devestate tourism and shipping and clothing and almost every other industry there is.

    Canada has only 3% of its population working in agriculture, about the same as all of europe and a little lower than Holland and only slightly higher than the USA. The third world however uses between 10 and 25 times the percentage of there population and still they don't produce anywhere near the level of produce that we can.

    1. Ethiopia 89%
    2. Bangladesh 54%
    3. Kyrgyzstan 52%
    4. Honduras 50%
    5. Thailand 50%
    6. Philippines 47%
    7. Indonesia 41%
    8. Pakistan 41%
    9. Romania 39%
    10. Sri Lanka 38%
    11. Namibia 38%
    12. Belize 37%
    13. El Salvador 37%
    14. Guatemala 36%
    15. Turkey 34%
    16. Dominica 31%
    17. Jamaica 30%
    18. Egypt 28%
    19. Saint Lucia 27%
    20. Brazil 26%

    You can't expect to feed your nation on the export of a low cost consumable it doesn't work regardless of the artificial influences against it your still stuck with an economy that’s forever bound to fail.

    I grew up in farming, I grew up a member of a marketing board I grew up a member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I remember the FTA and NAFTA talks and the letter writing and the fighting with our politicians with regards to subsidies and marketing boards, I also remmeber when GATT began and we went through the same discussion with the rest of the world. In the end however you still can't ship beer across provincial borders in Canada, Cheese and Chicken are protected to prevent regional disparity. If we openned the border to American chicken we would lose the industry entirely (you don''t have to heat barns in the southern USA we do in the north thus we can never compete with them on equal footing we must use marketing boards and enforced pricing to be able to have the industry).

    The biggest single purchaser of US agricultural produce (of all types) is the US government. They buy it for there military they buy it for food programs they buy it to keep prices stable during periods and they buy it when crops get all but wiped out by huricanes like the one that is about to hit. One huricane could wipe out the entire eastern sea boards crops, a huricane just before the october harvest would be utterly devestating, unemployment would jump bu 2% almost imidiately, bankruptcies would do the same and the snowball effect would be worse than a 9/11 is not for these government bail outs.

    I'm not a big fan of fucking the little guys, but their not palying by the same rules in the first place and we can't afford to drop to there level of play. They need to come up to ours!!
  14. man_slut

    man_slut TRIBE Member

    Interesting article from the Gaurdian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1042796,00.html):

    A threat to the rich

    Forcing the poor countries to walk out of the Cancun trade talks may rebound on the west

    George Monbiot
    Tuesday September 16, 2003
    The Guardian

    Were there a Nobel Prize for hypocrisy, it would be awarded this year to Pascal Lamy, the EU's trade negotiator. A week ago, in the Guardian's trade supplement, he argued that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) "helps us move from a Hobbesian world of lawlessness into a more Kantian world - perhaps not exactly of perpetual peace, but at least one where trade relations are subject to the rule of law".
    On Sunday, by treating the trade talks as if, in Thomas Hobbes's words, they were "a war of every man against every man", Lamy scuppered the negotiations, and very possibly destroyed the organisation as a result. If so, one result could be a trade regime, in which, as Hobbes observed, "force and fraud are ... the two cardinal virtues". Relations between countries would then revert to the state of nature the philosopher feared, where the nasty and brutish behaviour of the powerful ensures that the lives of the poor remain short.

    At the talks in Cancun, in Mexico, Lamy made the poor nations an offer that they couldn't possibly accept. He appears to have been seeking to resurrect, by means of an "investment treaty", the infamous Multilateral Agreement on Investment. This was a proposal that would have allowed corporations to force a government to remove any laws that interfered with their ability to make money, and that was crushed by a worldwide revolt in 1998.

    In return for granting corporations power over governments, the poor nations would receive precisely nothing. The concessions on farm subsidies that Lamy was offering amounted to little more than a reshuffling of the money paid to European farmers. They would continue to permit the subsidy barons of Europe to dump their artificially cheap produce into the poor world, destroying the livelihoods of the farmers there.

    Of course, as Hobbes knew, "if other men will not lay down their right ... then there is no reason for anyone to divest himself of his: for that were to expose himself to prey". A contract, he noted, is "the mutual transferring of right", which a man enters into "either in consideration of some right reciprocally transferred to himself, or for some other good he hopeth for thereby". By offering the poorer nations nothing in return for almost everything, Lamy forced them to walk out.

    The trade commissioner took this position because he sees his public duty as the defence of the corporations and industrial farmers of the EU against all comers, be they the citizens of Europe or the people of other nations. He imagined that, according to the laws of nature that have hitherto governed the WTO, the weaker parties would be forced to capitulate and forced to grant to the corporations the little that had not already been stolen from them. He stuck to it even when it became clear that the poor nations were, for the first time, prepared to mobilise - as the state of nature demands - a collective response to aggression.

    I dwell on Pascal Lamy's adherence to the treasured philosophy of cant because all that he has done, he has done in our name. The UK and the other countries of Europe do not negotiate directly at the WTO, but through the EU. He is therefore our negotiator, who is supposed to represent our interests. But it is hard to find anyone in Europe not employed by or not beholden to the big corporations who sees Lamy's negotiating position as either desirable or just.

    Several European governments, recognising that it threatened the talks and the trade organisation itself, slowly distanced themselves from his position. To many people's surprise, they included Britain. Though Pascal Lamy is by no means the only powerful man in Europe who is obsessed with the rights of corporations, his behaviour appears to confirm the most lurid of the tabloid scare stories about Eurocrats running out of control.

    But while this man has inflicted lasting damage to Europe's global reputation, he may not have succeeded in destroying the hopes of the poorer nations. For something else is now beginning to shake itself awake. The developing countries, for the first time in some 20 years, are beginning to unite and to move as a body.

    That they have not done so before is testament first to the corrosive effects of the cold war, and second to the continued ability of the rich and powerful nations to bribe, blackmail and bully the poor ones. Whenever there has been a prospect of solidarity among the weak, the strong - and in particular the US - have successfully divided and ruled them, by promising concessions to those who split and threatening sanctions against those who stay. But now the rich have become victims of their own power.

    Since its formation, the rich countries have been seeking to recruit as many developing nations into the WTO as they can, in order to open up the developing countries' markets and force them to trade on onerous terms. However, as the rich have done so, they have found themselves massively outnumbered. The EU and the US may already be regretting their efforts to persuade China to join. It has now become the rock - too big to bully and threaten - around which the unattached nations have begun to cluster.

    Paradoxically, it was precisely because the demands being made by Lamy and (to a lesser extent) the US were so outrageous that the smaller nations could not be dragged away from this new coalition. Whatever the US offered by way of inducements and threats, they simply had too much to lose if the poor countries allowed the rich bloc's proposals to pass. And their solidarity is itself empowering. At Cancun the weak nations stood up to the most powerful negotiators on earth and were not broken.

    The lesson they will bring home is that if this is possible, almost anything is. Suddenly the proposals for global justice that relied on solidarity for their implementation can spring into life. While the WTO might have been buried, these nations may, if they use their collective power intelligently, still find a way of negotiating together. They might even disinter it as the democratic body it was always supposed to have been.

    The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund had better watch their backs now. The UN security council will find its anomalous powers ever harder to sustain. Poor nations, if they stick together, can begin to exercise a collective threat to the rich. For this, they need leverage and, in the form of their debts, they possess it. Together they owe so much that, in effect, they own the world's financial systems. By threatening, collectively, to default, they can begin to wield the sort of power that only the rich have so far exercised, demanding concessions in return for withholding force.

    So Pascal Lamy, "our" negotiator, may accidentally have engineered a better world, by fighting so doggedly for a worse one.

    · This is the final instalment of George Monbiot's series on trade

  15. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member


    Not only do they need to begin to work togther as a block but they need to strike at the first world in a way that first world nations do. They need to drop this concept of being poor and realize that we cannot continue to bully the entire world. Its not a matter of one standing up and saying no, its a matter of 150 standing up and telling 10 nations to go fuck themselves. If they all collectively nationalize corporate interests at the same time it will finally through up heavil into the system.

    If every person with a mortgage in Canada simply stopped paying there mortgages the banks would collapse and there wouldn't be anybody to police and kick people out. The banks and government simply wouldn't be able to survive and our political system would fall apart quicker than any form of violent revolution or any amount of street level protest.

    If every student simply ignored there students debts and everyone with car and credit card payments collectively stopped paying until there demands were met they would realize the level of poor that they hold.

    Its not a matter of getting more corn into Canada, its a matter of insuring that they have enough corn amungst themselves to tell canada where it can go with its. Its not a matter of who owns the ship its a matter of who's port its in when the government claims ownership over it.

    This was more or less what Fidel did very effectively in cuba. but if the entire South American nations stood togther and all of africa stood togther there would be nothing we could do about it. If we attacked any of them we would not be able to defend against all of them. the victory is theres and they have never been willing to take it.
  16. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    I've always said a fight for global civil rights, and a global constitution is eminent. The only way for it to happen is through strongarming like this.
  17. 2canplay

    2canplay TRIBE Member

    Ditto, you are a sad case.

    I can't really respond to all of your diatribe because with each new post, you manage to further move the argument away from its original intent. The issue is "Wolrd Trade Talks Collapse." Why would they? You claim it's unreasonable for poor nations to react to the dictates of the WTO/G7 by refusing to sign on to a ruinous set of trade agreements. I suggest it isn't unreasonable.

    For one thing, many TW nations have a legacy of underdevelopment - Imperial power forced colonies in SA, AF, Asia to restructure their economies to focus on commodity exports (raw materials). A system was created where certain elites in the colonies prospered by organizing and controlling the labour of the peasant and then exporting their harvests to the imperial power. In latin America these people we're called the Comprador Class (but most commonly as the Interpreter Class). Every TW country has this class of jackles that profiteer off the peasants but this is a seperate discussion altogether. The Imperial powers left their former colonies without roads, without railroads, without extensive power, lighting, schools etc. - WHY? Because the only thing that mattered to Colonial powers and the Comprador class was harvesting/mining and shipping that shit out of the country. Look at a map of Kenya,Zimbabwe,Bolivia,Brazil, etc. Anything strike you as odd? Only one or two railways, each leading to the water. One or two roads, each leading to the water. This is quite different than the industrial development of the US, Britain, France.

    That type of development worked against establishing a cohesive nation when independence was finally achieved. Many former colonies devolved into a country of factions, seperated by geography from the main capital. For many years, during the crucial early years of independence, these regions also weren't connected by phones, Radio or TV - again, because that kind of stuff was not important to the elites and the imperial powers.

    Canada and Australia share some of the characteristics of this colonialism - however, the early inhabitants of Australia and Canada had in them the knowledge that they were a country. They had an alegiance to the mother country which afforded them great access to investment capital (from the 19th centuries leading financial economy) without any inhabitions which may have attached the same capital if it where invested with the African Tribesmen of Zimbabwe.

    My discussion thus far has failed to discuss the impact of imperial legistlation on the former colonies. You are, I'm sure, aware of the Staple Act (1663) and the Enumeration Acts (1660) which limited the ability of British COlonies to purchase goods not made in Britain and to sell goods to any parties other than Britian. YOu will also be familiar with the Iron Act of the 17th century that forbade British Colonies from making any finished product derived from Iron; also the Currency Act (1764) which prohibited paper currency in the colonies and thus prohibited the development of banking institutions. These types of legistalation led the US to eventually succeed from the British. The reason for and their ability to succeed, both derive from the relative wealth that had been generated by the American Colonists. In the other colonies such as Jamaica, independence was not seen as a necessary tact. In India, the Interproter Class ensured a stable colony.

    In Zimbabwe, the white settlers established legistlation in the 1930's that gave the small minority of whites 80% of the land - the best land. The 95% black population got the rest. They also passed legistlation that hoarded the black population into communes. All health care and education was to be delivered on these communes - no need to move around the country! When Zimbabwe finally won independence in 1979 Britain agreed to provide 50% of the funding to buy the land from the white farmers (at market rates) so that Zimbabwe could slowly start to redistribute the STOLEN LAND. Of course, Britain would NOT PROVIDE money for helping Zimbabwe turn massive industrial farms into workable farms for the thousands of people that would need to make them productive. Basic infrastruture aid to finance roads, proper irrigation systems, training, etc were not forthcoming from anyone, let alone Britain. A great book on the subject of Zimbabwe (and I'm sure you will have an appreciation for ZImbabwe's economic situtation considering you're backround in farming) is "The Economic Decline of ZImbabwe" by Carol Jenkins (Palgrave, 2002).

    Turning to the situation now, I'll illustrate the frustrations of the underdevleoped world, the former colonies, by discussing Uganda.

    The US spends about $10 Billion a year on Foreign Aid. Bush proposed in 2001 or so to increase that amount to $15 billion. That's for the entire world by the way. In Uganda, the main exports are Sugar and Cotton. The Ugandan farmer can produce cotton at a cost less then 50 cents a pound. The US farmer produces it at 73 cents a pound. The price of cotton on the world market however is 35 cents a pound. Why? The US SUBSIDIZES ITS COTTON INDUSTRY TO THE TUNE OF 22 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. More then their entire foreign aid budget! Do you get it? The US gets it, thats why they have developed something called the African Growth and Opportunity Initiative which allows CERTAIN African countries the ability to export 34 goods into the American market duty free. Sounds goooood, eh?

    In Uganda, the biggest export under the plan is Textiles. A textile manufacturer from the US buys a bankrupt plant in Uganda, buys subsidized cotton from the US farmer, ships it to the Ugandan peasant worker who makes the clothes with the cotton that can not be bought from her Ugandan countryman and gets paid a dirt cheap wage (of course you know the Ugandans don't believe in fair wages - they are bastards obviously - see your ealier post suggesting that poor countries need to pay their workers more - have you even left the fucking country before?). The finished textile is then shipped to the US duty free. So who wins? The Multinational, the FAT FUCK FARMER, and the still poverty stricken Ugandan peasant worker. Who loses? The US taxpayer, the Ugandan farmer, the US worker formerly employed in the textile industry.

    Can you blame the Ugandans for demanding an end to these ruinous subsidies? No. Can you see how historical underdevelopment, caused by the worlds super economies today, have led to most of the poverty in these nations? Can you see that it is the responsibility of the rich countries to tangibly assist these nations to develop schools, roads, hosptials, etc.? Can you see these things? Probably not, cause YOU ARE AN IDIOT.
  18. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    Okay look if we drop the name calling I'll have a debate and discussion with you, if not I won't.

    Call me an idiot and you reserve the opportunity to talk to a brick wall, I have plenty of desire to discuss this but only if it can be done with a minimal amount of class. Your obviously better educated then me on this subject and I would appreciate having this discussion but being called names and being spoken to in this tone serves me no purpose.

    I see no need to call you names and I ask that you offer me the same level of class.

    The world powers have done extensive stupid things over many centuries. But nobody has invented the time machine to undo these actions and nobody has invented the sure for these ills. To continue to view the first world as indebted to everyone they trampled although of strong social merit is of little practical use. The reality is France isn't about to give up its wine industry as it employs far to many people. Italy is about to give up its clothing or its leather industries as it employs to many people and the USA isn't about to hand over its cotton industry.

    We can debate the social reasons why they should, we can debate the economic reasons why they should but we're being about as unrealistic as we can get by expecting that they will.

    Put plainly there is no reason to export more food or more cotton to the G8, we don't need the products and we aren't about to create the need for it. We're not about to shut down the rice farms, we're not about to end or beef industry and we're not about to start building banana or pineapple republics again, that got us nowhere the last ten times and its gone down as one of our greater mistakes each and every time.

    We can also talk about giving more money to underdeveloped nations, again this isn't a new approach we've done it many times. However sometimes they turn out like South Korea and MOST times they turn out like Algeria. These two countries both found themselves in the same circumstance, one developed education and factories and is a success the other SQUANDERED its offerings and is in the exact same mess twenty years later. We can find trade agreements and pacts with nations in hopes that it will succeed as we have done with Mexico, but even then we may not be able to prevent currency collapse or pension collapse. Many of these countries have had successive leader after leader that has offered more and more to get votes but none of them have had the resources to deliver. They have left societies that believe that they are owed something but there is nothing to give to them.

    I agree it’s a sad state of affairs!

    But shipping more cotton and sugar cane to Canada isn't a solution. Debt forgiveness is a partial solution but giving more aid out has yet to show even the first stages of any success. We already paid to build the same roads ten times and each time the money gets stolen by corrupt officials. Each time the reality that if you want to drive a truck across a border you require payola becomes apparent. Many of these societies have such embedded corruption that we simply aren't able to deal with them until they clean up there acts.

    But just to return you to the original point, call me names and the discussion ends, I simply stop participating and you can talk to a brick wall.
  19. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    I also went furthur to explain why it would be foolish for many of the first world nations to give into these demands. I furthur went into explaining the disparity it would cause us and the economic damage it would cost us. Call it cruel but I kind of like having my first world nation lifestyle. I like the fact that we all have computers and that we have 50 varieties of apple to chose from in our super markets.

    But you are not willing to comment on the effects that removing these subisdise would have on the G8. Your focus is singular and it doesn't look at the effects of what your suggesting. Much like what the G21 were doing at the confrence.

    Yup can't undo the past though. And the people of today had no involvement in the evils of our great great great great great grandfathers. To bankrupt the milk farmers of souther ontario does nothing to undo past injustices and wouldn't even be recognized by those who are oppressed as being significant.

    Again its a sad state of affairs, but it also happened in the decade surrounding the breakup of the soviet union. And these were nations that did have radio and that did have formal infrastructures. So drawing the parallel is a little tricky.

    But again we have no time machine and we can't undo the past. Bankrupting industries and causing our own economic hardship doesn't undo the past and doesn't even give us the slightest garneteee of correcting the path of the future.

    Canada was raped of its fish for close to 200 years before she became a country. For half of its history it was under control of the french and for half it was under the control of the english. But both of them took pelts and took fish and both of them took taxes without representation. Although Canada and Austrailia both had english colonial influence Austrailia was a prison dump with very little french influence and had limited economic involvement. Regardless both of them are discussions of histories that we cannot change. Changes to world trade do not uno past injustices.

    Again changes to trade quotas qill not undo past injustices committed by people who died 300 years ago. In the end we still don't need there crops and in the end shutting down or farms and bankrupting our farmers will not be seen by impovrished nations as being an equalizer for the past injustices. Additionally these are not well regulated industires and both environmental damage and crop quality are not assured.

    Zimbabwe became an interest of mine a short while ago (5 years) so I'm a little less educated into there history as what would be helpful. However there recent circumstances have been something that I have been following. Again however I wish to make distinct the fact that we cannot undo past hisotical mistakes. But a question has to be asked with regards to the "white" farmers who are being evicted from there land. These were not small operations they were massive plantations and orchards, and when they are taken they are being given to former military leaders to pay them for there war of independence. Problem is the vast majority of these men have never been farmers and have never managed farms, they are war vets. This in the last two years we have seen a country that was a large exporter of goods reduce to a nation with starvation once again by GROSS mismanagement.

    Why would Britian pay to hand farms over to the men who brought a brutal prick to power. This is foolish and it also doesn't help the circumstances of there food production, if anything its counter productive.

    Uganada is perfectly welcome to ship its cotton at whatever price it would like to other nations who are not required to purchase at a world price. The USA and the G8 in general do not need cotton. If the USA were to reduce its cotton subsidies the biggest loosers would by the southern black former slaves who are now just finally beginning to develop economic capabilities. Cotton is also a large employer in the southern usa mainly in the minority communities. Yes you may very well help people in Uganada but your going to starve there decendants who live in georgia you didn't win anything. These same african nations that have the ability to export duty free are the ones that have agreed to a whole host of other agreements ranging from disclosure on policing to disclosure on wages and adopting anti child labour laws. It’s a strong arm tactic to cause them to compete by not using under handed means.

    Enough with this condesending tone. I speak three fucking languages and have traveled quite a bit. I'm also the son of a "FAT FUCK FARMER" who still doesn't have the sence of smell from the amonia burning when I was 12. I remember shovelling chicken shit when I was 10 to pay for university in my twenties so drop this condesending crap!! Would it be better for the US farmer to ship to a US factory to make clothes using US labour only. Who sold the factory, who gave the factory the right to export, who allows the factory to pay its workers nothing. If you don't deal with the corrupt officials we are forever greacing palms and we never get anywhere. Forcing the US farmer out of business means that the US has no incentive what so ever to import anything from Uganada what so ever.

    Again the condesending tone is simply unnecessary. I have no incentive to disucuss something with someone who resorts to name calling when he feels.

    How does increasing poverty in Canada undo the damages done by France in Algeria. How does a fisherman in Uruguay understand that we closed down a fishery on our east coast to allow the depleted stock to rebuild when he is still fishing there illegally, how does he see this as justice.

    You suggest that the past is responsible for the situation of today. I completely and totally agree with you on this issue. However here we now differ. I don't believe that bankrupting people here and creating banana republics elsewhere is the sollution. It didn't work in past and repeating the mistakes of our past and expecting different results this time around is simple insanity!!

    The third world and the G21 are perfectly able of working togther yet they're corrupt officials no full well that hiding money in switzerland suits there needs better. Stop this and we can begin to do real aid packages but if we have to pay off border gurads to let us beuild rail lines and thse pay offs go to mafia like families who have stockpiles of weapons then we're not solving the problem we're only making ourselves feel better at to high a cost.
  20. kodos

    kodos TRIBE Member

    Who writes these headlines? Using 'collapse' as the active verb in a blip about 'World trade'-anything is just asking for a subconscious emotional response. Tasteless :p
  21. 2canplay

    2canplay TRIBE Member

    I apologize for calling you an idiot, and I'm sure your Dad worked hard for what he has.

    I still think your argument is shit. Your mentioning of Algeria to defend your point is a case in point. Read a history book about Algeria and France from 1950-1960 and see what Algeria had to deal with. South Korea? **shakes head in dissapointment*** Did the US have military presence in SK after 1951? Did they have a direct incentive to ensure economic prosperity in that region after the rise of Mao? Do you think that America is in the habit of allowing foreign nations to export into their economy massive amounts of durable goods, especially considering the recent actions against steel and lumber? Therefore, I have to imply that you believe that Koreans are better then Brazilians because you can not acknowledge that development is dependent on assisstance from a larger power/economy.

    You see things from the perspective of a Canadian Farmer. If you can not step outside of that frame then my discussion with you will be futile (as I guessed from the get go).

    Pick a country. Say Zimbabwe. Read up on their history from Rhodesia in 1900 to Independence in 1979 (Robert Mugabe, by the way, was a dedicated nationalist way before that time and faught his war from Mozambique before finally making his way back home to Zimbabwe) - it wont take long. Then look at their development since then, with IMF and World Bank involvement and then sit back and think of what you could have done. By reading the news or the Economist you don't learn shit. All they tell you is what's happening now and then they blame the most recent cause for the problem. YOU have to go and look at the deeper issue. Before you do that, you shouldn't really be spouting your mouth off about it.

    The IMF released an external report (1999 I believe) on their involvement in Africa and it highlights their shortcomings. That's another issue altogether though.

    In the context of todays structure of global trade and western-formatted capitalism, small, poor countries have little hope to develop without a large benefactor. Columbians can't make the product that the US does need can they? The US wants them to make coffee - there is too much fucking coffee. What Columbia could make, very profitably, can't be made under threat of invasion. Don't leave much choices does it? What should Columbia, Zimbabwe, Jamaica do Ditto? What are your words of wisdom? Seriously.

    Be warned, if you say some shit like "they should just pull up their bootstrapps and be good workers like the Chinese" I'm gonna go fucking nuts (And the response to that should be quite obvious considering everyone on this boards sensitivity to matters of liberty and human rights).

    Again, sorry for calling you an idiot - I've read your other posts - your not an idiot.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2003
  22. 2canplay

    2canplay TRIBE Member

    To elaborate and to encourage us to think thoughtfully on this question, which is the crux of the issue, let me touch on a couple of serious problems with development in the context of western-formatted capitalism and globalization.

    I think we can agree that a developing nation is going to need a massive amount of efficiency equipment in order to "Supply the things that America/Canada needs" like cars and planes and durable goods like Korea and China supply (and not Marijuana and Cocaine which the developed nations need but the underdeveloped nations are not allowed to supply). In order to pay for these efficincy goods, the underdeveloped nations must purchase these goods with foreign currency, which has in the past, caused a drop in their local currency and a balance of payments problem. If this persists the country suffers from domestic inflation (because food, caused by years of dependency and underdevelopment under colonization, is for the most part imported from the rich countries (those subsidies again) and can't be cut back). The inflation or Balance Of Payment problem (especially the latter) causes the IMF to get involved, as that is their mandate.

    The IMF and World Bank often work in tandum, providing loans on the condition that reforms take place. The reforms usually involve budget cuts to social spending on schools and hospitals and infrastructure projects, all of the things that the country has been deprived of during colonialism. The IMF and World Banks conditions must be adhered to in stages, other wise the loan tranches will not be paid out, meaning your people starve (because your nations currency has dropped in value and it now costs more to import your required food because your own domestic production capabilities are not high enough because you haven't had the money to buy efficiency tools and build those roads that you so badly need). If you want to get a loan from another bank because you think the IMF/WB terms too onerous - tough luck - the IMF/WB set the precedent that all other banking international institutions MUST follow. So unless you are real friendly with some wealthy oil rich country or some communist country you are in a quandry. Your back is to the wall.

    You know that one of the only things you can do is export to the big markets. What can you export. Lets see? How about Sugar. We can do that cheap! Not so fast. Even though the G7 promote liberalization and the IMF/WB told you to cut YOUR domestic spending and lower YOUR tarrifs on imports, those G7 countries subsidize their farmers to the tune of 700 billion dollars. A year. So, its a no go on that sugar.

    At the same time that your people are starving and payrolls are getting cut, you also need to keep your government in order and prevent a coup (because when people are hungry, they tend to get violent). You can either set up a one party system (like Zimbabwe), try a dictatorship (like Chile) or try to keep some vestige of a democracy going by paying key people in your government on the lowdown to keep them on side (creating a type of corruption similar to the Comprador class). This is not good, but the G7 says that you must maintain democracy, it's essential to development. In fact, they say it's so essential that they may be willing to militarily enforce democracy if need be.

    Any solutions?

    Remember, address access to dollars. Cost of efficiency equipment/training. Access to markets. Democracy.

    In lieu of your suggestion, I would suggest that the solution lies in the G7 contributing 100's of billions of dollars to support the buildout of schools, hospitals and infrastructure for these underdeveloped world - as grants, not loans. It would cost each one of us 10% more tax but after 10-15 years it would be reduced because the benefits of having a truly growing global economy would be seen by higher global trade on a level playing field. This is hard because their are a lot of people who would rather spend billions of dollars on an increasing military machine to defend us from an increasingly insurgent impoverished global citizen. Jeffrey Sachs, Harvard development expert, has recently been discussing this type of plan, albeit on a smaller scale.

    The farmers who are now reaping the rewards off of millions of peoples tax dollars could keep getting their money. OR, we could just cut them off and LET THE FREE MARKET REIGN. But that would be too obvious.;)
  23. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    no your still not getting my point at all. The First world doesn't need a single product from the third world. Outside of bauxite and copper and maybe one or two other minerals we need nothing of there's. We don't even need there bulk labour, we don't need there crops and we don't need more cars or more planes.

    The last time we "needed" there crops there was a British empire and Canada didn't have a railway. We have developed to the level where we don't need a single thing from them and if we cut off trade with them entirely we wouldn't notice a difference on our shelves.

    Africa needs to develop and economy for Africa. Stop importing cars from Japan and North America. No more DVD players and no more Italian leather. no more cell phones from northern Europe and no more wheat from Canada. Without creating there own internal trade and there own equalization of internal payments they are forever the tools of the first world. They will forever be our slaves of economies. They can't compete with us and we can't allow them to compete with us but they aren't acting like a block.

    They allow foreign military presence. Foreign manufacturing and foreign development projects out of simple corruption. As long as you can't ship produce to your neighbor country and are forced instead to deal with your former colonial ruler 6000 miles away destiny is never going to be within your reach.

    Canada and the USA and Mexico learnt this lesson and stopped treating Europe and Asia as there key markets. We admitted to the reality that we have trade blocks and began to develop ours. This started with the European steel agreements of the 60's and matured into a European Union. In North American it began with an auto pact in and around the same period and has no been extended into a trading block NAFTA.

    African nations need to stop acting the part of the bitch. they need to nationalize interests stamp out corruption and treat one another as partners. They need to realize that they have to build there own roads and highways and that we aren't going to go there and do it for them. They need to bring there population under reasonable control and begin to look at the damages being caused by exceptionally poor farming techniques and fishing techniques that have lead to desertification and have led to dead lakes.

    Its going to take 30 years for them to really be able to produce there own cars for themselves of there own designs. but this is what the soviet union did and did very effectively. China closed its borders and admitted that they would need to become self sufficient before they would ever be able to be competitive.

    Its time for South America to realize that sending everything North is no longer an option. Columbia needs to produce what Panama needs and what Costa Rica needs not what the USA and Canada need. Brazil needs to focus on Peru and needs to stop thinking about France. South Korea focused on the Philippians and on Singapore and on Indonesia and on Malaysia until they could focus on North America. And when they did focus on North America they build plants in North America to compete in North America. Japan builds the cars in Canada that it wants to sell in Canada and simply profits on the exchange.

    Even European car manufactures (the auto sector is truly a global enterprise and is really at the lead of the international agreements curve so I use them regularly) realized that its better to build BMW's in Tennessee for New York and VW's in Mexico for Toronto than to build them in Germany.

    The third world has yet to deal with the corruption and general lawlessness and chaos that we have taken advantage of for 500 years. If we don't like tribal leader A we use Tribal leader B and we encourage them to hate Tribe A. If we can't deal with Country A we make a deal with Country B and we screw Country A for not helping us. They need to act as a collective and realize there strength. They need to realize that if 120 countries all default on there loans at the same time the USA and Europe cannot hold together and defend themselves. They have been in a position to ultimately take control but because they aren't acting in a block fashion we will always be able to snap the weakest link in the chain and beat them.

    But in the end the last thing we need is consumer goods and food. We produce these things. They need to supply there own needs first and then worry about the west!!
  24. 2canplay

    2canplay TRIBE Member

    Blame the victim. Excellent. It's Africa's fault that they are forced to open up their economy to imports, free from tarrifs. You failed to address any of the issues that are serious impediments to development - WTO/IMF/WB and global trade; democracy; domestic spending/investment; currency; truly liberalized free global markets. You merely state that it's all their fault.

    How do you defend 700 billion dollars in farm subsidies for things that can be purchased cheaper from foreign partners? It is indefensible in the context of liberalized global markets that is espoused by the G7. You only defend it by ignoring the issue and twisting the blame away from us to them.

    Your points are pitiful - I was having these discussions with my Dad (who was a centric-conservative) when I was in High School - I took your side of the argument with many of the same points of view that you hold. Then I grew up, read some books, visited some countries and went to school.

    I could list the foreign sales of companies like Kimberly-Clark in Brazil or Coca-Cola in Mexico or Motorola in the Phillipines. These companies need that revenue. Are you out of your fucking mind - cut off trade? Do you know what happens to IBM's share price if they can not outsource production to the TW (india)? What about the Gap? Does the Gap still make 15% margins if they don't use TW labour?

    You are a waste of my time.
  25. Ditto Much

    Ditto Much TRIBE Member

    ease down bro...

    I'm not blaming the victim, but we simply can't undo past injustices. They are the ones borrowing the money and they are the ones using the money to promote things that we simply don't need or want to buy.

    Just because I can purchase a product cheaper in Uganda doesn't change the fact that the inudstry is the only industry in a region of Canada. Bakrupting that region has a greater cost than the individual cost of the goods. Its cheaper for Canada to buy every stick of clothing from elsewhere but we want to have both a fashion and a garmet industry. Its cheaper to buy all out poltrey from the USA but we want to have this industry as well. Its cheaper for us to buy trains and planes from russia but we like to employ 10,000 families doing it ourselves.

    It will always be cheaper to make every single product except mineral extraction elsewhere than in Canada. But we will end up having no need for the vast majority of our service sector if we do this. We won't need to have chemical production we won't need to have half the banking system we have. It makes no sense to grow cotton in the USA except for the fact that it employs a huge number of people and the vast majority of them are already dirt poor. It makes no sense from a cost perspective to produce milk in Ontario when its cheaper to produce in Quebec but we like having a dairy industry and its spin off trucking sector is a great employer of people with lower levels of education.

    I'm not balming the victim. but if the victim of yesterday never stops thinking of the victimization and doesn't take the future for theselves we can never get them out of the victim mentality.

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