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36 -December 1982

General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade
88 trade ministers managed on the 29th of November 1982 to paper over their differences and bring to a close the meeting of G.A.T.T. called for by the U.S., which was complaining of unfair practices by certain countries (including those of the E.E.C.) in increasing the level of their exports though for example, agricultural subsidies. This confrontation could achieve nothing because the meeting did not address itself to the real causes of the world crisis which has so sharply reduced the volume of trade. Among these causes one could mention :
  • the accelerating pace of technical change in industry and agriculture, leading to increased productivity per man and at least to a temporary unemployment,
  • the nea-saturation of the rich countries as far as the market for cars and domestic appliances is concerned,
  • the last replacement of traditional raw material such as iron by new ones such as plastics or aluminum, leading to a shrinking market for some older industries such as steel manufacture,
  • the transfer of industrial jobs, some countries using under-paid labor which enables them successfully to challenge older producing countries,
  • the inadequacy, in certain countries, of education and retraining and of job-mobility,
  • the virtual absence in today's world of a global monetary system but, instead, floating exchange rates ; a national currency (the dollar) being used almost as the sole reserve currency, leading to complications and uncertainty in international trade,
  • the selfish and short-sighted policy of the well-off countries in dealing with the developing countries, refusing then a stable and remunerative price for their basic exports and sufficient and to allow real development, thus preventing these countries from becoming new and expanding markets for the products of the industrialized world ;
  • the enormous and socially useless expenditure on armaments and the arms race,
  • the refusal to look at the world economic problem posed by the fantastic output of industrial robots.

Instead of closing in on themselves and accusing one another of protectionism, nation states would do better to try to reach an agreement on a global scale to put an end to the real causes of the crisis, which causes are most planetary in nature. Is it not clear that, to obtain the result hoped for, the states must accept some form of supranational order ?




AMIP - Mundialist News Agency

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