The problem with Free Trade:
the structure of WTO and NAFTA

Nipawin - February 24, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis




I remember when sometime ago our past Premier Roy Romanow was hailing British
Prime Minister Tony Blair's Third Way while his own Saskatchewan Way was
falling apart and being responsible for further dividing the rich from the poor(2). Today,
as Tony Blair addressed both our senators and parliamentarians we were able to get a
glimpse of Tony Blair's rational acumen of his Third Way, or rather what has turned to be
synonymous for Free Trade(3). In this speech, Tony Blair defended vigorously Free
Trade and attacked anti-globalization critics by stating


"It's time, I think, that we started to argue vigorously as to why Free Trade is right... It's the key to jobs for our people, prosperity and to development in the poorest parts of the world... The case against (Free Trade) is misguided, and worse, unfair... However sincere the protests, they cannot be allowed to stand in the way of rational argument. We must start to make this case with force and determination."




We are supposed to have governments for the people, but this is not the case anymore. Our
governments have turned their back to the people and they are now posturing for the killing
of sincere protests with force and determination, and I only hope that Tony Blair is not
going to use his planes and missiles as he has been doing today in the Middle East(4). We
have a difficult road ahead to restore democracy, and this is not a matter of capitalism or
socialism anymore, this is a universal matter, as universal as trying to breath fresh air and
trying to drink fresh water.




We have the natural gift to communicate and trade and as our economies become more
knowledge dependent so our motivation to break regional borders become more compelling.
Economist Paul Krugman was right when in the late 70s he supported the theoretical
advantages of international trade(5). However, today's Free Trade within our globalization
of the economies is not working and it is satisfying the vested interests of the multinational




Tony Blair is wrong when he says that the current Free Trade is key to the development in
the poorest parts of the world. The late Donella Meadows was right when she wrote that
we can conduct orderly and profitable trade in ways that do not oppress workers,
communities, or the environment. We urgently need to do that.(6) And our social
economists have ascertained that the current globalization of Free Trade is inherently
responsible for our social inequality around the world(7) while pointing out that our natural
social and economic growth is complementary with social equality(8). This is where the
problem is: the present structure of Free Trade as represented by the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  List of relevant political and economics articles


When Protectionism Is A Good Thing, by Herman E. Daly, PCDForum. January 25, 1994 Column 67




A Good Samaritan and Premier Roy Romanow's Third Way, by Mario deSantis, September 13, 1999




Fight for freer trade, Blair urges Ottawa, CBC Canada, February 22, 2001




Blair defends new Iraq strikes, BBC News, February 22, 2001




Protectionism: Classical and Contempory Thoughts, by James deSantis, February 20, 2001. Paper written for Economics 400: History of Economic Thought, University of North Dakota




The WTO Protesters and the Powers that Be, by Donella Meadows | posted-12.3.99 |




IRPP-CSLS Conference on the Linkages Between Economic Growth and Inequality, January 26-27 2001, Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Ontario




Why We Don't Have to Choose between Social Justice and Economic Growth: The myth of the equity/efficiency trade-off, by Andrew Jackson, Director of Research, Canadian Council on Social Development, Fall 2000