An outline of political economy: Political economy and by Iosif Abramovich. Ostrovitdi8anov, Konstantin Vasil'evich,

By Iosif Abramovich. Ostrovitdi8anov, Konstantin Vasil'evich, Lapidus

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If your head is spinning with all these issues, imagine the plight of producers in developing countries, having to deal with unfamiliar rules in a foreign language; rules that can affect their profits and perhaps their very existence. Imagine also the plight of governments of many of these countries, with few trained specialists, having to negotiate agreements on issues that they do not fully comprehend. It is difficult to understand the implications of getting into an agreement when it relates to a subject on which one has little experience.

Developed countries have shown far less interest in liberalizing services involving the movement of people. What concessions have been made relate mainly to the temporary movement of business visitors and of managers and technicians employed by companies in the services markets dominated by Western corporations. In contrast, note that the movement of capital is not treated as temporary, that the transmission of technology has been severely restricted by the TRIPS agreement, and that no one is talking about allowing free migration of the vast army of skilled and unskilled manual workers who constitute the vast majority of the labour force in the developing world.

Nor is this a one-time adjustment: greater openness to trade means that a country’s producers will be continually buffeted by changes in technology, consumer tastes and government policies in the rest of the world. Developed countries have unemployment benefits and retraining programmes that help to cushion the effects of these changes and, as you saw above, they have generously compensated their farmers for exposing them to greater international competition. There are no doubt several deficiencies in these provisions, and retraining is seldom effective: it is hard to retrain a displaced coal miner or steelworker for a job in information technology or financial services.

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