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This book will examine the social, political and economic impacts of trade liberalisation across a range of countries paying particular attention to the textiles and clothing sector, against the backdrop of recent debate among scholars, policy-makers and non-governmental organisations regarding the merits of trade liberalisation, especially in respect of developing countries. This debate has centred on the argument that greater exposure to the global trading system offers the most viable route out of poverty for developing and least-developed countries. In addition, it is often argued that liberalisation in goods and services of particular interest to developing countries represents a positive-sum game, insofar as the loss in domestic production for import-competing sectors in developed countries will be offset by lower consumer prices brought about by freer trade. Heron argues that this raises two concerns: Even if we accept that free trade is the best available means for maximising overall global welfare, analysts are still at a loss to explain fully why this eventuality has been so difficult to bring about. The differential effects of trade liberalisation on the more competitive vis-à-vis less competitive developing countries. Although analysts may be justified in assuming that under certain conditions the liberalisation of trade will herald positive developmental consequences for the developing world as a whole, this says nothing about how these gains will be spread. As a result, it might be - and often is - the case that some of these countries will actually find themselves worse off as a result of liberalisation. This book will be of interest to those studying and researching international and comparative political economy, developing area studies, economics, law and geography.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Rise and Fall of the Multifibre Arrangement 3. Assessing the Distributional Consequences of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing 4. The United States and the European Union: T&C Trade Strategies in the Post-MFA World 5. Garment Assembly in the Caribbean Basin after the MFA: an Unravelling Developing Strategy? 6. Bangladesh: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place? 7. Sub-Saharan Africa and the Perils of Preferential Trade 8. Conclusion