Sara Schoonmaker uses the technology industry to delve into one of the key political conflicts of our time: the construction of a free trade regime determined to open markets around the world to global capital, and attempts by Latin American, African, and other governments to resist this process. The Brazilian computer case is a prime example of a nationalist effort to promote local growth of a key high-technology industry—an effort that was eventually dismantled under the pressures of what Schoonmaker views as part of a broader process of neoliberal globalization.
High-Tech Trade Wars presents a multidimensional view of the globalization process, where economic changes are shaped by political struggle and cultural discourse. It includes interviews with Brazilian industrialists and state officials involved with implementing and, eventually, dismantling Brazil’s informatics policy, and discussions of grassroots-level protests organized against neoliberal globalization during the recent WTO meetings in Seattle and Davos, Switzerland.
New to the second edition:
discussion of legislative amendments to the WTO Agreement, in particular Aid for Trade, the Agreement on Trade Facilitation and the Bali Package
evaluation of case law developments and major disputes since 2007, including analysis of the WTO and the financial crisis – in particular the trade policy responses of WTO Members and institutional response
reflection on recent shifts to mega-regional agreements (TPP, TISA, TTIP) and their implications
what next post Bali?
Fully updated throughout, this book continues to be essential reading for students of international trade, international political economy, commercial law and international organizations as well as activists and others interested in a balanced account of a key global institution.
The book begins by examining the institutions' rules, principles, practices, and norms from their genesis in the early postwar period to the present. It evaluates the extent to which changes in these institutional attributes have helped maintain or rebuild domestic constituencies for open markets.
The book considers these questions by looking at the political, legal, and economic foundations of the trade regime from many angles. The authors conclude that throughout most of GATT/WTO history, power politics fundamentally shaped the creation and evolution of the GATT/WTO system. Yet in recent years, many aspects of the trade regime have failed to keep pace with shifts in underlying material interests and ideas, and the challenges presented by expanding membership and preferential trade agreements.