Free Trade

Report
Global Saviour or Scourge?
Free Trade - History
Free trade agreements begin to proliferate
during the post WWII period
 This coincides with the rise in influence of neoliberal economic thought
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Governments
began to
believe that free
market policies
were the most
effective
method of
managing the
economy
Free Trade - History
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The European Community
(EC) was the first major free
trade area in the world
It was comprised of Western
European countries (France,
Belgium, Italy, Netherlands,
Germany and Luxembourg)
Canadian free trade really
began in 1965 with the
“AutoPact”, a Canada/U.S.
agreement
This was an example of
“sectoral free trade”, involving
only a single aspect of the
economy
Free Trade - History
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The AutoPact had a huge effect
on Canada’s economy
By the late 1990’s Canada was
exporting one million more cars
than it was importing
The AutoPact folded in 2001 after
the World Trade Organization
ruled that it was unfair to other car
manufacturing countries
By that time it was largely
irrelevant, having been replaced
in most senses by the Free Trade
Agreement (FTA) between
Canada and the U.S. in 1989
Free Trade - History
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The FTA was expanded in 1994 to include Mexico, becoming
the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Other parts of the world are also moving towards free trade,
notably the Organization of American States (OAS) with the
Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) group
Neither of these larger agreements have happened yet, both
being heavily protested by people who view globalization as a
bad thing
Canada did sign a new free trade agreement in 2013 with the
European Union, a deal that could have a tremendously
positive impact on the economy
Free Trade – Major Players
NAFTA – the North American Free Trade
Agreement is a deal between Canada,
the U.S. and Mexico
 It has benefited all three countries
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Free Trade – Major Players
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The European Union (EU) is the current version of the
European Community
There are many more members, including nations in what used
to be Communist Europe
The EU has evolved into more than a simple free trade area. It
now includes political policy and security
Recently the EU has had difficulty with some member states
that did not manage their economies very well
Economic tensions have threatened to break the EU apart
Canada and the EU have just signed a wide ranging free trade
agreement that should have very positive effects on both
Free Trade – Major Players
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There are 21 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean that have
joined together for economic benefit
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation includes Canada as a
member
The economic plan is to have the more developed nations
sign bi-lateral free trade agreements by 2010 and then
incorporate those into a more comprehensive regional
agreement
This has not happened to date. Canada has spent most of its
diplomatic trade efforts on securing a trade deal with the EU
Free Trade – Major Players
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The Organization for
Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD)
includes the wealthiest
countries in the world
The OECD was formed in
1961and all of the founding
members were well
developed European and
North American states
The organization is still
dominated by first world
countries but membership
has slowly expanded to
other continents and to
more emergent economies
Free Trade – Major Players
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The oldest trade forum of the
modern world is the World
Trade Organization (WTO)
It evolved from the General
Agreement of Trade and
Tariffs (GATT), formed in 1948
The organization has
negotiated several beneficial
world trade agreements,
including the reduction of
tariffs, anti dumping laws and
the removal of non tariff
barriers
The current round, known as
Doha, is aimed at helping
developing countries but has
stalled over agricultural issues
and fair trade provisions
Free Trade – Current Issues
TRIMS – Trade Related
Investment Measures is a WTO
agreement
 The WTO prohibits measures
like local content requirements
 This is supposed to encourage
trade and lift restrictions from
transnational companies that
move 1/3 of the world’s trade
goods internally, between
subsidiary branches in different
countries or between the
subsidiaries and the
headquarters
 Opponents say TRIMS are
designed to prevent
governments from making
democratic economic decisions
and exercising control over their
economies
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Free Trade – Current Issues
TRIPS – Trade Related Intellectual
Property Rights – these are rights
given to persons over the creations
of their minds and they are
awarded for specific amounts of
time and confer exclusive
ownership
 The WTO says this is to prevent
others from using inventions,
designs or creative works without
permission and/or remuneration
 Opponents say that this is
protecting the financial interests of
big biotechnology, pharmaceutical,
computer software and other
businesses and that policing the
rules falls on cash strapped
governments and it also slows the
transfer of possibly life saving
technologies
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Works Cited
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