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Against globaphobia

Free trade is good for the rich, and better still for the poor. Why does the WTO come under attack from Greens and development lobbyists?

By P L   May 2000

Perhaps the riots in Seattle marked a turning point for a globalising world. In the past 50 years cross-border trade and investment have boomed, raising living standards across the world and lifting millions out of poverty. But now a backlash against this closer integration has begun. This backlash is surprising. By and large, it comes not from developing countries which were battered when world financial markets seized up in 1997-98, but from rich countries which escaped largely unscathed. It is strongest in the US, the biggest beneficiary of free trade, luxuriating in an economic boom. And its main target is…

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