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The Ascent of Globalisation$
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Harry Blustein

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992897

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992897.001.0001

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Free trade follies

Free trade follies

(p.141) 9 Free trade follies
The Ascent of Globalisation

Harry Blutstein

Manchester University Press

Peter Sutherland, as the head of GATT, played a masterful endgame, taking the stalled free trade talks to a final agreement in 1994, creating the World Trade Organization (WTO). Reflecting neoliberal values, the side agreements on intellectual property and trade in services, were largely driven by the corporate sector, and the behind-the-doors machinations are described. Sutherland welcomed the WTO treaty’s achievements, which he claimed introduced the rule of law into trade, and substantially reduced trade barriers. On closer examination, the final package was about freer not free trade, as international trade was corrupted by side agreements that served vested interests ahead of public interest. In addition, smaller countries discovered that there were practical barriers that severely limited their ability to impose trade judgements on major powers.

Keywords:   Peter Sutherland, World Trade Organization, Free trade, Unfair trade, Backroom deals, Corporate lobbying

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