A Brief presented to the People and Parliament of Canadian Trade and Tariffs Committee
Publisher: OXFAM Canada and GATT-Fly, Canada
on the Occassion of Multilateral Trade Negotiations under the Auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
Year Published: 1977
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX419
Abstract: Both GATT-Fly and OXFAM-Canada express, in this document, a brief, a common concern that demands of the less developed countries for a more just economic order be taken into account in the formation of Canadian commerical policy. At the same time, they invite the Canadian people and their elected representatives to consider Canada's common interests with the less developed countries in achieving a new economic order.
The brief sets forth the measure proposed at the General Assembly of the United Nations in May, 1974, and cites four examples in which GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) negotiations failed to correct injustices in the past. It points out that over the past 25 years a relative marginalization has characterized the position of the less developed countries in world trade, whereas a steady expansion of the post-war industrial economy occurred among industrial nations. Factors responsible for this industrial expansion have been the growth of multinational corporations and their control of the sale of unprocessed primary commodities by undeveloped countries. Improved terms of trade, the article suggests, might be achieved through producers' associaitons, multilateral commodity agreements, multilateral arrangements, indexing and compensatory financing.
Canada's position in world commodity trade is described as ambivalent, and the authors believe that Canada's long-term interests are closer to those of the less developed countries than of the industrialized countries on the issue of GATT rules governing access to supplies.
Unless Canada exercises effective control over the multinational corportions which operate within and across its national boundaries, then, the writers conclude, there can be no effective solidarity with the peoples of the Third World for a New International Economic Order. Neither can there be an effective policy of national development in the interests of all Canadian based on the use of Canada's natural resources.