World Trade Organization (WTO) Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2619 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Furthermore, it discourages industrialization in developing countries. Exporting raw materials to richer countries for processing is cheaper than developing their own manufacturing. They are thus reduced to a very small share of production. These poor countries also rely on only one or two raw commodities for their national earnings, hence the sudden and unfair increase of tariffs can further limit their potential for economic growth.

Environmental Deterioration is one more problem. Overuse of fertilizers and chemicals, overgrazing and dumping agricultural by-products into rivers and steams pollute air and water quality and damage the soil.

Everywhere in the world, farmers demand an entirely different approach to agriculture and trade. They want one that realistically addresses food sovereignty, security and the preservation and promotion of rural livelihood. A program consisting of 12 steps has been thought out for global human rights and food security. These include:

1. taking agriculture out of the WTO. Food is a human right and should not be treated like any other commodity. This demands that governments must set and observe policies that encourage food security and that nutrition should be accessible to all citizens of the world.

2. eliminating dumping by the complete elimination of domestic subsidies by and in developing countries for export crops. Violations must be seriously prosecuted.

3. improving access to market. Developed countries must confront and solve the problems of tariff escalation and the practice of increasing tariffs with the level of processing. They should not only reduce their tariffs, but remove higher tariffs faster than lower ones.

4. re-instating qualitative restrictions on imports and domestic subsidies in order to protect and support household-subsistence farming. Developing countries should be encouraged to do this and to produce food for their domestic market.

5. promoting fair trade. Developing countries' largest sources of income are cash crops, like coffee, cocoa, sugar and bananas. A fair trade system must be put in place and operated as the best mode and model for an agricultural trading system that will guarantee fair prices and community empowerment (Globe Empowerment). It consists in cooperative economics, farmer empowerment, direct relationships, greater transparency in global trade and reduced power of purchasing monopolies. Fair trade now enjoys 1% of the U.S. trade in coffee and still growing.

6. reinstating global commodity agreements. These agreements control supply ad demand in keeping prices at a steady level, promoting stability and sustainability in the rural areas. There should be reverse action in case of falling commodity ice in any (parallel) international initiative.

7. no patenting on life,. This means seeds, plants, animals and their components should be exempt from patenting. Indigenous farmers must be empowered to use their cultural knowledge and collective use of resources. This indigenous knowledge may relate to agriculture methods, the use of seeds and plants and should be protected from bio-piracy.

8. Prohibiting genetically modified organisms or GMOs. These drastically reduce biodiversity by contaminating conventional crops through pollen from those contains GMOs. They have not been proven to be safe and laws should be made and implemented against them to protect the consumer and the environment. Trade agreements should ban the trade of GMOs.

9. promoting authentic land reform. Real sustainable development depends on land. It is still a sad fact that millions of landless peasants around the world still have no land of their own. A relevant and responsive global agreement must be sensitive to the needs of the poor must prioritize the truly fair and adequate redistribution of land, lands, which have been concentrated in the hands of a few rich. The needed resources must likewise be distributed to enable the poor to work productively on the land.

10, enforcing needed labor laws for farm workers. Farm workers are among the most exploited and with the lowest wages, yet are not covered by domestic labor laws. Relevant and responsive agricultural agreement or negotiation should, therefore, provide the for the enforcement of realistic living wage for agricultural producers. It should include all ther basic international labor organization's labor rights. Among these are the right to organize freely and to form unions; the right to strike; the right to sufficient and appropriate health and safety protection programs or provisions; freedom or protection from discrimination or harassment in the workplace; and protection from forced overtime.

11. designing and enforcing policies that will support small farmers and sustainable agriculture. International financing institutions must be tapped or volunteer to finance sustainable agricultural practices and the improvement of countryside infrastructures. Small farmers and cooperatives need such policies that will protect their land ownership, grant them access to credit, offer technical help, make possible the transfer of technology, and guarantee reasonable price mechanisms that will reflect the true cost of production. There should be more investments in agriculture, too, which should promote local know-how and organic and sustainable production systems in place of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, which are damaging or even destructive to the planet and life itself.

12, fostering true democracy. All countries that participate in a responsive agriculture agreement should guarantee that rural populations are represented in their decision-making actions, whether nationally or internationally. These should include small producers, farm workers, consumers and their respective organizations. They should be given real decision-making power in trade negotiations, which will affect or determine their future. Governments must enact legislations that will protect the environment, health and livelihood of their citizens.

V. Conclusion

Despite huge struggles by developing countries, rich countries have remained reluctant or adamant to change their agricultural policies that favor them but result I havoc and misery upon poorer countries. In return, these developing or poorer countries refuse to allow WTO expansion, which would again favor the rich countries. This was the cause of the collapse of the talks in Cancun. It can be called a victory against the WTO but not to the sufferings of those who can only thwart organized global acts that oppress, distress and starve them.

Bibliography

Agence France Press. Main Issues Under Negotiation by WTO Members in the DOHA Talks. Hot News: AFP, 2003

Bonilla, Eugenio Diaz, et al. WTO, Agriculture and Developing Countries, a Survey of Issues, TMD Discussion Paper number 81. International Food Policy Research Institute, January 2002. http://www.ifpri.org/divs/tmd/dppapers/tmdp81.pdf

Bureau of Public Affairs. The U.S. WT Agriculture Initiative. Federal News Service, Inc., U.S. Department of State. http://fpc.state.gov/12208.htm

CNN.com. Suicide Mars WTO Talks. CNN.com/World, 2003

WTO Braces for Massive Protest.

Foreign Agricultural Service. Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference. Cancun, Mexico: U.S. Department of Agriculture, September 10-14 2003

Global Exchange. Food Security, Farming and the FTAA and the WTO. Global Exchange, 2003. http://www/globalexchange.org/campaigns/wto/FTAAWTOAgricultureNew.pdf

Khor, Martin. Our World Is Not For Sale, a Statement. Third World Network: Geneva, June 30, 2003. http://www.ourworldisnotforsale.org/agru/statements/02.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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