NAFTA, WTO, and Global Business Strategy: How AIDS, Trade, and Terrorism Affect Our Economic Future

By Bradly J. Condon | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

Conclusion

INTRODUCTION

The globalization of the world economy has increased international trade in goods, services and foreign investment. This has coincided with a proliferation of international trade and investment agreements. This book has analyzed and compared NAFTA and WTO rules on trade in goods and services, foreign investment and intellectual property rights and how these rules affect global business strategy. It has also explored the link between trade and security issues. On the one hand, trade barriers contribute to the economic marginalization of the developing world, which could sow the seeds of terrorism and war. On the other hand, the liberalization of flows of goods, services, capital and people can facilitate the flow of weapons and of both terrorists and the money needed to support their activities.

Global environmental issues are also affected by international trade. The shrimp case, discussed in chapter 2, shows how the general rules and general exceptions of trade agreements may interact with domestic politics and international law. Countries can pass laws governing activities inside their territorial limits and governing the activities of their own citizens. However, they have no jurisdiction to regulate noncitizens outside their territory. Without trade agreements, countries would be free to ban all imports if they wished. Once they enter trade agreements, however, governments are bound by rules that limit the use of trade barriers to achieve extraterritorial environmental goals.

Sovereign nations can either negotiate international agreements governing the regulation of international affairs or maintain their independence

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