1990’s – GATT WTO MAI Asian Crisis

The WTO, World Trade Organization, came into being in early 1994, as a successor to the 1948 GATT, Global Agreements on Trade and Tariffs. Since then, alarm bells have rung over concerns at the increasing power of large multinmational corporations over the sovereignty of individual nations. It has most recently been reformed at a WTO meeting in Bali in December 2013 – refer statement by Federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb – 7/12/2013.

In the mid 1990’s there was some disquiet about the progress of globalization – subsequently writers including Hans Peter Martin, Harald Schumann and Mark Latham expressed their concerns in books such as “The Global Trap” and “Civilising Global Capital”. In The Global Trap we find statements such as

Globalization. Hi-tech communications, lower transport costs and unrestricted trade are constantly said to be turning the whole world into a single market.” p5

In a global pincer movement, the new International of capital is turning whole countries and social orders upside down.”  p7

Following the creation of the WTO in 1994, the late 1990’s would see the emergence of the MAI, Multilateral Agreement on Investment (see MAI-Not page, Christian on MAI 2008 & 2009 updates), and the Asian Tigers Economic Crisis.

And a decade later, the Global Financial Crisis exploded onto the Global Scene in later 2008, although it had been apparent to some in 2007 – refer There’s finally a Global Financial Crisis – will we hear from a global antiglobalization movement ? by Christian in 2009.


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