ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

AM THE Americans want international trade in services to be brought under the general discipline of the international organisation which goes by the quaint name of the Contracting Parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. They dominate this organisation; they have also, for the present, an immense comparative advantage in the trading of capital-based services such as banking, insurance, shipping, aviation, informatics, etc The developing countries are jittery, and for good reason; once the rich industrial countries, through the GATT, succeed in setting the rules of the game for international transactions in services, the fledgling networks in the services sphere the poorer nations are trying to build are likely to become vulnerable. It would be a GATT- oriented incarnation of new imperialism; transnational service corporations and banks would make deep penetrations into the economic systems of the poor countries. So the issue has to be fought, fought and fought again: the US administration and its partners must not be permitted to capture the services sector for GATT.

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