Media Myths & World Trade
Buell, John, The Humanist
The demonstrations late last year in Seattle, Washington, against the World Trade Organization already have had at least one positive effect: they have forced complacent mainstream media to acknowledge that opposition to corporate trade agendas is worldwide and broadly based. Unfortunately, however, the same corporate journalists who were surprised by the vehement protests persist in disseminating a very one-sided portrait of the political conflict. Five of the most prevalent media myths deserve closer examination.
Myth #1: President Clinton and the WT0 want to liberalize trade among nations, thereby facilitating economic development that will help everyone.
This line is at best a partial truth. The WTO and the Clinton administration have pushed for some tariff reductions that would expand trade. Nonetheless, WTO rules also force "developing" societies to accept patent and copyright protections that in effect tax and thereby limit many existing forms of trade.
China, for instance, has a booming trade in "pirated" software. New copyright protections would force the Chinese government to place a heavy tax on these transactions, thereby slowing trade and the dissemination of these technologies. Owners of software firms--mostly U.S. based--would benefit, but China would …
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Publication information: Article title: Media Myths & World Trade. Contributors: Buell, John - Author. Magazine title: The Humanist. Volume: 60. Issue: 2 Publication date: March 2000. Page number: 21. © 1999 American Humanist Association. COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group.
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