Globalisation

Globalisation

The increased movement of food goods is part of the process of increased 'globalisation'. In the book (p48), there is a quote from Tony Blair saying at a major conference speech: "I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalisation. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer". He lists all the countries going for it - and that the thing they all have going for them is 'cheap labour'. Many people now feel that globalisation is leaving people behind- not just in developing countries but here too. And that helps explain the Trump victory, Brexit, along with a move to the right in many countries. 'Moving from globalisation to self-reliance' Greenhouse Publication. See also 'Glocalistion - growing locally to satisfy foreign tastes.We hear many people saying that post Brexit, if there was no deal, we can 'play by WTO rules'. To do this, the UK has to be a member of the WTO. At present we are not. WTO’s chief, Roberto Azevêdo, said that because the UK joined the organisation as part of the EU, we would have to renegotiate the terms of our membership as a fully independent member- we would 'start from scratch'.

Tony Blair

From Bittersweet Brexit p48:'The word ‘globalisation’ is repeated ad nauseum. We were told at the Labour Conference 2005 by Tony Blair that: ""What we can’t do is pretend it is not happening. I hear people say we have to stop and debate globalisation. You might as well debate whether autumn should follow summer. They’re not debating it in China and India. They are seizing its possibilities, in a way that will transform their lives and ours. Yes, both nations still have millions living in poverty. But they are on the move. Or look at Vietnam or Thailand. Then wait for the South Americans, and in time, with our help, the Africans. All these nations have labour costs a fraction of ours".' NB He sees labour costs as crucial.

Mad Food Markets

This other site of mine looks at the madness of relying on markets to sort out the ills in the food system, going back in time and all over the world. We find the mad markets will not cure our food related ills, but are responsible for many of them. Because markets for food do not work, both the US and the EU pour in around £/$50 billion to produce food ever more cheaply. The markets are saying:Stop, do something different'. But no, on we plough producing more and more food we cannot eat, as we are already far too fat, and have to throw away. When are we going to stop this madness?
Doing deals with other country and the WTO as a referee is not as easy as it sounds.
Moldova’s economic counselor to the WTO, and her team were denied visas for entry to the U.K. last year when they wanted to discuss their future relationship with Britain after it leaves the European Union.
All possible partners round the world will be waiting to see what deal we make with the EU and we seem a long way from that.

World Trade Organisation

WTO explained on YouTube
We hear a lot about playing to WTO rules. That is fine. Except for one thing. To play the rules you have to be in the club. The UK is not yet a full member of the WTO. (eg see Right hand column re GPA). We have to apply, and the head of the WTO said it could take years - see book for details, which also examines the priority countries to do free trade deals. UK submits draft schedule to WTO setting out its WTO market access commitments for goods once the UK leaves the European Union. A Conservative analysis of possible problems runs to over 200 pages - Summary.
Britain BLOCKED from $1.7 Trillion in WTO projects
The U.S., New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Israel and Moldova have all blocked Britain’s post-Brexit entry into the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) a market worth $1.7 Trillion.
The purpose of the GPA is to open up government procurement markets to foreign competition, and help make the process more transparent. British officials argue that the U.K. is a special case and should receive expedited approval because it’s already a member -- although it has never independently ratified the agreement.
The WTO also has troubles of its own. Campaigners were pleased in Dec '17 when the Argentina talks collapsed. "Rich countries like Britain have “no interest in solving the fundamental injustice of current WTO rules, and instead want to turn the whole world into a corporate playground.” More from Global Justice Now

Russia among 20 countries blocking fast track WTO deal.

Whitehall is now facing “up to two dozen” different negotiations with countries over how much meat and dairy produce will be permitted into the British market and what tariffs the UK will set on imports. The UK lodged a 700+ page draft with the WTO of its intended trading relationships. It expected that most of the existing quota arrangements (amounts before tariffs kick in) would be allocated on historical basis - “technical rectification”. The UK now has to open up talks with those who object - about two dozen countries. Negotiating new bilateral deals will take years.