The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international body whose purpose is to promote free trade by persuading countries to abolish import tariffs and other barriers. As such, it has become closely associated with globalization. The WTO is the only international agency overseeing the rules of international trade. It polices free trade agreements, settles trade disputes between governments and organizes trade negotiations. So, when the US and the European Union are in dispute over bananas or beef, it is the WTO which acts as judge and jury.
WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. The WTO agreements have been negotiated and signed by the majority of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The main aim is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.
[...] Even though, Portugal has some of the lowest labor costs and wages in Western Europe—salaries are about 400 to 440 euros a month—they are still 2 to 3 times higher than those in Eastern Europe and 10 times above those in China. The European producers textile are directly threatened by cheap Chinese imports, and that is why, they decide to go abroad to produce their garments. This decision affects Western European workers who are affected by a high rate of unemployment. [...]
[...] This is the less social country: those who will cost the cheapest, those who will impose the working conditions less evolved, the protection the more reduced, who, in the future, will become a referent and get the markets of production. Indeed, as we can see on the figure below (taken from INSEE French national institute of statistics and economic studies). Between 1990 and 2005 the textile production rose years by years. During 1995-2001, the jobs in the clothing/leather have decreased by per year, which is 34% of the employment cut out in seven years. [...]
[...] As I explained above, I focus on the textile and clothing industry in China. III- The losers in EU Regions affected As an example, Portugal is particularly vulnerable to the ending of the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA) arrangements because textile and clothing manufacture is composed of an important part in its economy. Portugal is the sixth-largest textile producer in the EU in terms of clothing. There are 13,069 clothing and textile companies, but 70 percent of them employ fewer than 10 workers. [...]
[...] The European enterprises Secondly, it also includes all those dynamic enterprises (huge, big, medium and small) that have obtained significant benefits both from the opening of new markets and from gaining access to resources (including human resources) that improve their productivity and profitability. Some European companies are winners in the free trade but not all, it depends on which characteristic they are specialized and/or best in. Indeed, few companies have autonomous production units or even joint ventures in foreign countries. [...]
[...] To illustrate that, I will focus on textile, especially relationships between the European Union and the Republic of China since its entry in 2001 within the WTO. II- The winners Consumers There are some winners thanks to the WTO free trade agenda within the European Union concerning textile. Firstly, there have been many winners from globalization. In both Europe and America, this includes above all consumers, especially the poor and lower-income earners. Indeed, it estimates that the importation of Chinese garments into France will reduce prices by 5 percent in the US, the reduction is estimated to have been 30 percent. [...]
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