ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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GATT The Real Issues

THREE sectors: services, textiles and farm subsidies constitute the trinity being fought out in GATT. The outcome of these negotiations may well determine (he trajectory of the already badly flawed and misleadingly billed, multilateral trading system as it has meandered since the 1950s; a system designed to serve the interests of Big Capital, and one that has been ruthlessly manipulated under the rules of the game imposed by the developed capitalist economics (DCEs). With the perceptible deceleration of world production and trade already well underway, it seems unlikely that the prospects for the nineties will be sanguine Marginal or no growth can be anticipated from the third world, and the formerly designated CPEs. Negotiations within GATT mirror the violence of economic war, the struggle for global markets, as well as the costs of that ongoing war. Although the textile and clothing industry (T and C) is a very minor segment of international trade and output/ the dispute over textile quotas and protectionism highlights the north- south conflicts, and is interrelated to the question of services, more specifically that of intellectual property rights. Argentina's trade minister Domingo Cavalle summed it up: "Argentina would not have much course to modify iis position in services if there was no agreement to liberalise trade in farm products or textiles!' Whether 'liberalisation' as conceptualised and galvanised by the handlers of Big Capital holds any promise for pulling Argentina's fast sinking, hyperinflation-ridden economy out of its morass is problematical.

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