Issues / Democracy & Governance
A nonaligned, economically autarkic, one-party state under harsh military rule since 1962, Burma has metamorphosed into a test case for action on several fronts: human rights in Southeast Asia, international trade relations and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the growing worldwide heroin epidemic, and the role of foreign investors in supporting dictatorships.
Investment funds, established to provide capital for private enterprises and sponsored by government agencies and multinational institutions, are increasing in number every year.
International flows of private investment have risen sharply in recent years.
The G-7 was formed in 1975 to provide an informal forum for coordination of economic policy among leaders of prominent industrialized nations.
In the immigration debate, free marketers square off against cultural conservatives on the right side of the political spectrum; while on the left, civil rights and ethnic advocacy groups oppose environmentalists and job protectionists.
Expansion of the NATO military alliance is proceeding rapidly despite an overwhelming lack of public or congressional debate.
The absence of a coherent U.S. foreign policy agendaexcept in the expansion of exports and investments to promising new marketsleaves U.S. policy decisions at the mercy of old and new prejudices, while ad hoc response to crises becomes more the norm than the exception.
For many in the U.S., Somalia is viewed as a powerful symbol of United Nations peacekeeping failure.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) sets guidelines for the elimination of most trade and investment barriers between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico over a 15-year period.
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.