By Simon Bromley, William Brown, Maureen Mackintosh, Marc Wuyts
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Additional resources for Making The International: Economic Interdependence and Political Order
38), the various WTO committees and working groups between them held an average of 46 meetings a week in 1996 – and the workload has only increased and proliferated since then. Each issue requires technical expertise. ). Ranged on the other side of many of the issues are developed countries with well-staffed missions, backed by legions of economists, lawyers and technical personnel specializing in WTO-related issues in their universities, government agencies and think tanks. Apart from bearing the economic and social impact of the agreements themselves, developing countries therefore have to incur the costs of setting up administrative institutions to comply with their requirements.
The fact is that the USA threatened to walk out of the negotiations (which would have doomed the Uruguay Round) unless TRIPS was included, a threat widely seen as a response to corporate pressure from large US companies in industries such as pharmaceuticals, software and biotechnology (more on determinants of government behaviour in Chapters 6 and 7). ). 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.
But at least unemployment does not threaten the very survival of the workers and their families, and the next generation is likely to be better equipped to get the new jobs in the sunrise sectors. The point is that no developing country has a system of general unemployment beneﬁts, much less the enhanced beneﬁts and retraining facilities given to workers and farmers whose losses are directly attributable to import competition. In addition to this kind of social insurance for individuals, the European Union allocates generous ‘structural funds’ to its poorer regions, especially those that have been badly hit by the closure of industries.