Walden Bello critiques the World Trade Organization in its’ inability to represent the needs and interests of nations across the world. This critique is accurate in the sense that the WTO’s policies have been strictly driven at benefiting trade balances for the core nations. Additionally, its’ policies severely restrict the autonomy periphery countries have over their own economic development. To reverse this trend, Bello suggests for a trend towards ‘deglobalization.’ In simpler words, he argues that international trade based on exports should be shifted back towards more domestic and regional oriented markets. This in turn would help to accelerate the development of periphery nations. While the original attachment to larger international markets helped developing nations attach their industrialization process to the larger international market, it has ceased to have significant returns to scale in the growth of local economies.
Bello’s argument makes sense when analyzing the growth of America’s economy. Its’ ability to control its’ own trade policies during its industrialization process and enact protectionist policies allowed for local markets to flourish and eventually allowed for American businesses to compete internationally and rival those in the developed world. The WTO is ultimately concerned with the well-being of its’ prominent members. As a result, as Americans, we severely limit growth abroad by undermining infant industries in other nations to develop by refusing to import their products that may not be as environmentally sound or violate workers’ rights. While, we are ‘helping’ them, we are also doing them a huge disservice by restricting the free market. The World Trade Organization doesn’t truly promote free trade but it does promote unequal access to resources, goods, land, etc. For this to change, its’ power and that of other international bodies most be diminished in favor of more regionally and locally focused organizations.