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The Case Against Free Trade: GATT, NAFTA and the Globalization of Corporate Power An Earth Island Press Book [Paperback]

Ralph Nader , Jerry Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 22 1993 An Earth Island Press Book
This book examines the notion of "free trade" and the issues raised by adopting the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Essays by Ralph Nader, Jerry Brown, William Greider, Margaret Atwood, Mark Ritchie, Wendell Berry, Pat Choate, and others.

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"This book contains essays by leading citizen-oriented trade experts. They dissect the ideological roots of the free trade mantra, discuss the trade negotiations themselves, and most vividly and most importantly, detail the devastating effect that such trade governance has had—and the much more sever effect it will have if the Uruguay Round expansion of GATT and NAFTA are enacted—on real people and real communities around the world. All of humanity has a shared interest in opposing trade agreements that threaten to exacerbate rather than eliminate great global threats to our human well-being and reckless exploitation of people and environments."
- Ralph Nader

"It does not require great political imagination to see that the world system is heading toward a further dispersion of governing power so that the closet dictator of the marketplace can command things more efficiently, form everywhere and nowhere. The historic paradox is breathtaking: at the very moment when western democracies and capitalism have triumphed over the communist alternative, their own systems of self-government are being gradually unraveled by the market system."
- William Greider

"The proposed GATT revisions offend against democracy and freedom, against people's natural concern for bodily and ecological health, and against the very possibility of a sustainable food supply. Apart from the corporate ambition to gather the wealth and power of the world into fewer and fewer hands, these revision make no sense, for they ignore or reduce to fantasy all the realities with which they are concerned: ecological, agricultural, economic, political, and cultural."
- Wendell Berry

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Citizens beware. An unprecedented corporate power grab is underway in global negotiations over international trade. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, for unusual reasons May 16 2004
Format:Paperback
The proponents of free trade have had at their disposal a convincing and, often times, quite believable theory to describe the way that the world functions. As a liberal, I have frequently wanted to reject all the theoretical underpinnings of free trade. I've spent many hours trying to fill their theory with holes. At the same time, as an economics major and free thinker, it's just not been tenable for me to disregard modern economic theory. There are no alternatives that could take the theory's place in effectiveness, or in accuracy. In sum, I picked up this book at a time when what I wanted to believe did not gel with what I was compelled to believe, academically.
This book does not explicitly offer a "third way" that could substitute for capitalism or socialism. And as might be expected, the authors make a big deal out of the bad things that come with economic liberalism. The "Race to The Bottom" is mentioned quite often. In this sense, there's not much new here. Read Soros, Stiglitz, Greider, or even Wallerstien - you'll find a lot of the same thing.
What is unique about this book, and why I am giving it five stars, is that the book added a new dimension to the context of my discontent with the current "system." More exactly: the alternative theory that could come out of this book pales to liberalism; much of the liberal thought about economics has to do with values, and it not often as compelling as the official theory; and while this book emphasizes values to a great deal (state sovereignty, for example) it tends to emphasize values that are much more axiomatic.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It'll Change your Mind Nov. 29 2000
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book written by some of the leading authorities on NAFTA and GATT (Including Ralph Nader). Each "chapter" written by a different person is short and to the point. You can read as much or as little as you want, without feeling the need to finish the chapter. This book WILL make you sweat with anger at points. It is an excellent read.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The case Against Free Trade: GATT & NAFTA June 18 2009
By GP - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ralph Nader has always championed causes for the working stiffs and consumers in this country. He uses this book to explain how people of this nation have been sold out by the politicians who've in essence become the lackeys of big business and multi-national corporations. Prime example is current issue of health care. Seems the medical insurance and pharmaceutical companies will inevitably get "health reform" which benefits their pockets as opposed to the American public getting a a national health plan which staves off our inability to afford descent health care.
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, for unusual reasons May 16 2004
By "evolgas" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The proponents of free trade have had at their disposal a convincing and, often times, quite believable theory to describe the way that the world functions. As a liberal, I have frequently wanted to reject all the theoretical underpinnings of free trade. I've spent many hours trying to fill their theory with holes. At the same time, as an economics major and free thinker, it's just not been tenable for me to disregard modern economic theory. There are no alternatives that could take the theory's place in effectiveness, or in accuracy. In sum, I picked up this book at a time when what I wanted to believe did not gel with what I was compelled to believe, academically.
This book does not explicitly offer a "third way" that could substitute for capitalism or socialism. And as might be expected, the authors make a big deal out of the bad things that come with economic liberalism. The "Race to The Bottom" is mentioned quite often. In this sense, there's not much new here. Read Soros, Stiglitz, Greider, or even Wallerstien - you'll find a lot of the same thing.
What is unique about this book, and why I am giving it five stars, is that the book added a new dimension to the context of my discontent with the current "system." More exactly: the alternative theory that could come out of this book pales to liberalism; much of the liberal thought about economics has to do with values, and it not often as compelling as the official theory; and while this book emphasizes values to a great deal (state sovereignty, for example) it tends to emphasize values that are much more axiomatic. For example: The authors describe how the specifics of NAFTA were not made readily and directly available to the public; and even once they were, the document was so convoluted and inaccessible that hardly anyone bothered to read it.
This example (there are many others) is useful to me because it does not necessitate e a conflict with liberalism. In other words: It may be true that free trade works best. I don't want to believe that, I am compelled nevertheless to believe that, but no matter what I believe about free trade, I am positive that trade agreements should be made available to the public (quickly, cheaply, and in a language that can be understood). Values are still involved. But the answers to the "value questions" are answered axiomatically, for most of us. This book is unique and valuable (no pun) for the reason that it criticizes free trade in a way that (1) the criticism will either be accepted or rejected immediately, and (2) the criticism is not contradictory, and may be useful, to the liberalist's theory that has been so difficult to dethrone.
26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It'll Change your Mind Nov. 29 2000
By Shelby R. Mood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book written by some of the leading authorities on NAFTA and GATT (Including Ralph Nader). Each "chapter" written by a different person is short and to the point. You can read as much or as little as you want, without feeling the need to finish the chapter. This book WILL make you sweat with anger at points. It is an excellent read.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, fantastic service Oct. 5 2011
By Nanette Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thank you for sending this great book to me in such a timely manner, it's an important addition to my library. Thank you.
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