Trade: Is Politics Taking over for Economics? Essay

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Trade: Politics, Economics and the Environment With the introduction of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade at the end of WW2, the international community began to shift away from their formerly Mercantilist views moving towards an open, capitalism economic system. Rapid technological advancements, changes in demand, the aftermath of the war and other such international level socio economical predicaments have greatly increased global economic activity. A fundamental concern is that free trade will stimulate economic growth and that this growth will harm the environment. (Hochstetler, 2013: 3) Eventually, world demand for finite, natural resources will peak leading to the all-encompassing economic issue of scarcity. The role of the GATT in the global economy is “Being desirous of contributing to these objectives by entering into reciprocal and mutually advantageous arrangements directed to the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and to the elimination of discriminatory treatment in international commerce” as stated in its preamble. Some would say that fundamentally, the introduction of the GATT and eventually the WTO as international, political organizations has led to the result of trade talks being dominated by politics as opposed to economics. Global environmental concerns were born out of the recognition that ecological processes do not always respect national boundaries and that environmental problems often have impact beyond borders; sometimes globally. Similar to countries coming together in order to improve and increase world trade, the Kyoto Protocol was an attempt to begin solving environmental concerns universally. This essay seeks to analyze and clarify some of the contrasting positions between how countries handle the endeavor of climate change. Stemming from the statement “trade has almost nothing to do with economics
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