Related or contrasting ideas may be found in the following sections: Nuclear Weapons, Peace, Rights, Rule of Law, and the Social Contract




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There are firm international rules for trade and economics


The United States is the economic dynamo for the world

Gary Rosen (staff managing editor), “Good cop,” Commentary, March 2006, p. 72

“The first and most apparent of these services is economic. It is the U.S. whose navy safeguards the transport of the world’s oil supply, whose dollar serves as a de-facto global currency, and whose loans bail out countries in financial distress. It is the U.S. that provides the primary impetus for free trade, using its leverage to resist barriers among developed and developing nations alike. Finally, it is the American economy that remains, in Mandelbaum’s words, ‘the indispensable supplier of demand to the world,’ making possible, among others things, the rapid, export-led growth of much of Asia.”


The rules for international trade and economics are unsound


Modern international trade is subject to governing rules from the 12th century

Peter T. Leeson (Assistant Professor of Economics, West Virginia University), “Does globalization require global government?” Indian Journal of Economics and Business, September 2007, p. 12

“Modern-day international trade is based largely on the set of informal institutions that governed such exchange when it first emerged on a significant scale in 12th century Medieval Europe. This set of informal institutions is called the lex mercatoria, or Law Merchant. The Law Merchant is a complex polycentric system of customary law that arose from the desire of traders in the late 11th century to engage in cross-cultural exchange. In the absence of formal enforcement this custom-based system relied on private arbitration for resolving disputes. Between the early 12th and late 16th centuries, virtually all European trade operated this way with great success. This system enabled large numbers of merchants to expand trade significantly and realize substantial additional gains from international exchange. Contemporary international trade continues to make wide use of private arbitration as a means of settling disputes. In the early 1990s, at least 90 per cent of all international trade contracts contained arbitration clauses (Volckart and Mangles 1999). Indeed, private international arbitration is unquestionably the foremost method of dealing with disagreements arising in the course of international commerce (see for instance, Casella 1996). In addition to ad hoc international arbitration, well over 100 international arbitration institutions located throughout the world perform this function.”


There is no formal international authority covering trade and commerce

Peter T. Leeson (Assistant Professor of Economics, West Virginia University), “Does globalization require global government?” Indian Journal of Economics and Business, September 2007, p. 7

World government: “Presumably, one major benefit of such a system would be in creating a formal supranational authority for the enforcement of international commercial contracts. As it stands, no such authority exists. In fact, there is not even a universal, formal international commercial law on the basis of which such an authority could adjudicate private international trade disputes if it did exist.”


Enforcement provisions of international trade agreements are stealing US sovereignty

Daryll E. Ray (Professor and Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee; director of University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center), “World government fears now missing, but seems ironic,” Western Farm Press, April 2, 2005, p. n/a

Business Week began a recent article (March 7, 2005, p. 102) on the problems with Chapter 11 type rules by describing the situation in Utah, where gambling has been illegal throughout its 110-year history. The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbados filed a case against Utah arguing that ‘gambling regulations in Utah and most other states conflict with America’s obligation not to discriminate against foreigners providing “recreational services."’ The WTO panel agreed with Antigua and Barbados and Utah lost a bit of its sovereignty. Powers that once were within the realm of individual states are being usurped by various trade dispute panels.”


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