Issues / Labor, Trade, & Finance
Today, member countries number 125 (nearly the whole world except China, some former communist countries, and a number of small nations) and WTO rules apply to over 90 percent of international trade.
A fundamental challenge facing policymakers and activists is how to set and enforce rules to protect workers from repression, exploitation, and danger.
Environmentalists expect access to information and broad participation in decisionmaking. In addition to culture, substantive differences divide the trade and environmental communities.
In promoting structural adjustment, the U.S. has concentrated on short-term profits for businesses and narrow diplomatic gain.
The economic crisis in Mexico has dampened enthusiasm in the U.S. for the extension of free-trade agreements throughout the Americas.
Transnational corporations (TNCs) increasingly shape our lives as they weave worldwide webs of production, consumption, finance, and culture.
U.S. agricultural policymakers have long relied on the world marketplace to serve a diverse agendaincluding management of the domestic farm economy, promotion of geopolitical interests, and most prominently, bolstering exports.
The conventional arms trade continues to bedevil the international system. Although the world arms trade continues to decline in dollar value, the major arms supplying states have redoubled their efforts to export their weapons overseas.
Multilateral debt, the result of lending by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), is contributing to the economic and social crisis that is overtaking many Low Income Countries (LICs).
Immediately following World War II, the major capitalist powers, dominated by the U.S. and Britain, met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish multilateral institutions to manage the postwar restructuring and expansion of the global capitalist economy. Two international financial institutions (IFIs) emerged from the July 1944 meeting: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).