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JSPES, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Summer 2013)
pp. 174-202

Globalization and the World Trade Organization from the Perspective of the Underdeveloped World

Kema Irogbe

Claflin University, Orangeburg

The author examines the work of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from the point of view of the underdeveloped nations. He argues that the WTO professes to facilitate global prosperity by removing all forms of barriers to trade. A rules-based, member-driven organization, the WTO was established to administer global trade agreements, to provide a forum for trade negotiations, handle trade disputes, and cooperate with other international organizations to provide technical assistance and training to underdeveloped countries. But the author sees it from a very different perspective, and expresses a view that is not uncommon within the underdeveloped world. He says that while the WTO accelerates prosperity for some states, it perpetuates poverty in other member states. Providing an aggregate of empirical evidence and logical plausibility, he argues that the WTO is an undemocratic organization used by the multinational corporations (MNCs) to assault and marginalize the national sovereignty of peripheral member states in which it actually perpetuates poverty. While promoting globalization, it prevents development in underdeveloped states by supporting the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, which he claims institutionalizes a monopolistic system of intellectual property rights. International development, he claims, would be better served by a free system of bilateral and multilateral regional trade agreements.