Greenspan on Seattle

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Mon Jan 17 12:33:45 PST 2000


I do remember reading a few years ago in the NYT Bhagwati's argument that NAFTA-like regionalism actually represented a step back from global free trade. You suggest here not. Since I don't remember the details of Bhagwati's argument, I'll defer. don't really understand how the world trading system works. Looked through Ruigrok's and van Tulder's chapter on intl trade in Logic of Intl Restructuring. Suggests the complexity of the system as did Greider in his first Nation piece (how these floors, vers, trigger price mechanisms, anti dumping legislation, subsidies, bilateral agreements really work is beyond me).

Agree by the way that there is a lot of value in Greider's journalism and reporting though of course don't agree with the underconsumptionism and monetary analysis from my orthodox Grossmann-Mattick marxist perspective. Has anyone read his chapter on the specter of Marx in his One World, ready or not book?

He holds out the possibility of a global keynesianism resolution to the contradictions of global capitalist development, which he thinks Marx had indeed grasped.

> >Most world trade seems to be intra firm trade which again does not prove
> >the existence of an 'integrated' world system.
> Most? Hardly. Something like a third of U.S. trade is intrafirm, and
> most of that intrafirm trade consists of transfers of finished or
> near-finished goods to foreign sales subsidiares, and vice versa. No,

OK, will go from memory.

I think *officially* close to 40% of imports are from intra firm trade in the US, no? One then wonders how much of the rest of the imports are from firms under the defacto control of US based multinationals, though not formal affiliates. Will check Doremus' Myth of Global Corporation (Christian has quoted from it previously, perhaps he has it in front of him). It is true that as a percent of exports US based multinational exports to its own affliliates is not that big, but they still account for more than 1/3 of US exports, no? It seems however that US multinationals are more integrated with the local economies in to which they relocate than German and Japanese firms that relocate within the US; thus US foreign affiliates import less from the home country than do Japanese and german companies. One of the findings I believe of the Doremus, et al study. So in this sense US intra firm exports cannot account for most US exports. But I was focuing on imports because this is the source of the controversy presently.

the world isn't a seamless integrated trading system; most economies
> are still national, and most trade is with nearby regional partners.

Still trying to understand how it all works.

Yours, Rakesh

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