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The Trade Trap: Poverty and Global Commodity Markets
This work explains how countries that depend on the export of primary commodities, like coffee or cotton, are caught in a trap: the more they produce the lower the price falls on the international market. If they try to add value to their commodities by processing them, they run into tariff barriers imposed by the rich industrialized nations. To make matters worse, they have to compete with subsidized exports dumped on the world market by rich surplus-product countries. This edition contains an additional chapter which reports on the outcome of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the creation of the new World Trade Organization. It examines the impact of rapid economic liberalization on the livelihoods and natural environments of poor communities and recommends ways in which trade could be regulated to protect their rights. The book explains the complexities of the world trade system and examines what poor countries can do about the trap in which they find themselves.