Fighting the Wrong Enemy: Antiglobalist Activists and Multilateral Enterprises / Edition 1

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Antiglobalist forces have been gaining greater momentum in recent years in their efforts to reverse what they view as the negative effects of an integrating global economy. Their influence was felt earlier when efforts to create a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) ended in failure in 1998 after France left the bargaining table at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, effectively killing the initiative.

Through an evaluation of the MAI itself and the issues raised by its opponents, Edward M. Graham takes a fresh look at the growing backlash against globalization. He first explores whether the MAI negotiations failed due to political maneuvering by antiglobalist nongovernmental organizations (supported by US organized labor) or because of irreconcilable differences among the negotiating parties over the issue of foreign direct investment. He then thoroughly assesses antiglobalist assertions that the activities of multinational firms have had negative effects on workers both in the home (investor) and host (recipient) nations, with a special focus on developing nations. An important finding is that multinational firms tend to pay workers in developing nations wages that are significantly above prevailing wages. Graham then examines the issue of globalized economic activity and the environment, finding that economic growth in developing nations can lead to increased environmental stress but also finding that foreign direct investment can lead to reductions in this stress.

The book assesses whether a negotiation to create a comprehensive agreement on investment should be included in a multilateral negotiating round at the World Trade Organization in the near future. Graham indicates that, while many developing nations would accept such rules, it might be premature to press for a comprehensive agreement at this time. Rather, a limited investment agenda might be both more feasible and more productive.

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What People Are Saying

Theodore H. Moran
Theodore H. Moran, Director and Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy, Georgetown University:

. . . this volume can occupy a pivotal place in setting the terms for discussion of foreign direct investment and globalization.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
1 Introduction 1
The Dog That Did Not Bark 1
FDI and Its Benefits 3
The MAI Negotiations Falter 7
The Negotiations Fail 10
An Economic Autopsy of the MAI 12
2 The MAI and the Politics of Failure: Who Killed the Dog? 15
The MAI Is Conceived 20
Deep Internal Difficulties Emerge 25
The NGOs Enter the Stage 35
The Cavalry That Did Not Arrive 49
3 Dissecting the MAI 51
The Structure of the MAI 54
Goals, Scope, and Applications 55
Obligations of Host Countries 57
Dispute Settlement Procedures 74
Exceptions, Safeguards, and Reservations 78
The Mouse That Might Have Roared? 80
4 Globalization, Foreign Direct Investment, and Labor 81
Direct Investment and Wages in Developing Countries 84
Globalization and the Sweatshop Issue 99
US Direct Investment Abroad and Employment in the United States 106
Does Globalization Reduce Workers' Bargaining Power? 125
Summary and Conclusion 129
5 Globalization, Foreign Direct Investment, and the Environment 131
The Environmental Impact of Globalization and Growth 134
Foreign Investment: Can It Be Made Part of the Solution to the Environmental Problem? 148
Toward Global Rules That Are Environmentally Friendly 158
Conclusion 161
6 The MAI and the Developing Countries 165
The Changing Position of Developing Countries on Foreign Direct Investment 167
Changing Attitudes Toward Multilateral Rule Making 173
Developing Countries and the Provisions of the MAI 175
Is There a Deal Breaker? 183
Is Any Negotiation on Investment Between Developing and Developed Countried Doomed to Failure? 184
7 Where Does the Multilateral Investment Agenda Go From Here? 185
Arguments For and Against Multilateral Investment Rules 186
Is There a Constituency for Multilateral Investment Rules? 190
A Comprehensive WTO Investment Agreement: A Bridge Too Far? 198
Appendix A Productivity and Wage Determination 201
Appendix B Is Foreign Direct Investment a Complement to Trade? 207
References 213
Index 223
Table 4.1 Annual Compensation per worker by foreign affiliates and parent companies of US multinational corporations, by industry, 1996 92
Table 4.2 Average compensation paid by foreign affiliates and average domestic manufacturing wage, by host-country income, 1994 94
Table 4.3 US direct investment position abroad by host-country income, 1997 107
Table 4.4 Countries in the sample by income category in 1985 and 1995 108
Table 4.5 Net fixed assets of foreign manufacturing affiliates of US multinational corporations and of US manufacturing firms, by host-country income, 1996 114
Table 4.6 US FDI and US unemployment 116
Table 4.7 Trade in goods among foreign affiliates, their US parents, and unaffiliated firms by host-country income, 1995 118
Table 4.8 Coefficients indicating relationship between US exports or imports of manufactured goods and US direct investment abroad 120
Table B.1 FDI-related activities and trade 212
Figure 4.1 Outflows of US foreign direct investment by host-country income (1995 income categories) 109
Figure 4.2 Shares of US foreign direct investment outflows by host-country income (1995 income categories) 109
Figure 4.3 Outflows of US foreign direct investment by host-country income (1985 income categories) 110
Figure 4.4 Shares of US foreign direct investment by host-country income (1985 income categories) 110
Figure 4.5 Outflows of US equity capital by hot-country income (1995 income categories) 111
Figure 4.6 Shares of US equity capital outflows by host-country income (1995 income categories) 112
Figure 4.7 Outflows of US equity by host-country income (1985 income categories) 112
Figure 4.8 Shares of US equity capital outflows by host-country income (1985 income categories) 113
Figure 5.1 Income and pollution 138
Figure 5.2 The optimum level of pollution control 151
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