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Global Trade And Technology Regimes: The South’s Asymmetrical Struggle

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Chapter Summary

The trade and technology regimes of World Trade Organization (WTO) and Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) embody the values, objectives, and operational dynamics that primarily satisfy Western powers. Southern states submit these constraining regimes only to the extent of avoiding severe penalties. They feign compliance whenever possible through "stealthy non-compliance" in order to advance their development and security. This chapter addresses three issues: the West-South asymmetrical struggle over technology and trade; the role of state-supported technological development in the South; and the prospective consequences for the South relating to the restricted labor-absorbing capacity of twenty-first century technology. Socio-economic development involves moving from national assets based on primary products and unskilled labor to assets based on knowledge that is exploited by skilled labor. Overcoming limited human resources, poor infrastructure, traditional culture, inefficient bureaucracy, inexperience with state-of-the-art production technology, and crushing international debt is among the challenges facing Southern nations.

Keywords: global trade; southern states; Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); twenty-first century technology; World Trade Organization (WTO)



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