NAFTA, WTO, EU & Third World
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a controversial trade pact that eliminated majority of the tariffs among other trade barriers on services and products passing between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The pact that went into effect in 1994 stayed in force until 2020, when it was replaced. NAFTA pact managed to effectively create a free trade zone for the three countries, making it an important feature in the bilateral relationship between Mexico and the United States (Villareal and Ian, 33). NAFT gives coverage to services excluding maritime, transport, and basic telecommunications. The pact also incorporates the protection of intellectual property on various areas including trademark, patent, and copyrighted material. NAFTA’s government procurement provisions apply to the goods and contracts for construction and services at the federal level. Moreover, United States investors are assured of equal treatment for domestic investors in Canada or Mexico. NAFTA makes it possible for companies to ship goods that qualify to be shipped to Mexico and Canada duty-free. Under NAFTA rules, goods can qualify in numerous ways. It can be due to products getting whole produced in a NAFTA party or because of a lack of sufficient amount of materials or work needed to make a product what it is during exportation.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international institution that was formed in 1995 to manage global trade rules among nations. The WTO functions on agreements that have been signed by numerous trading nations in the world. The primary function of the World Trade Organization is to assist producers of services and goods, as well as importers and exporters, manage and protect their businesses. The World Trade Organization had 164 member countries as of 2021, with Afghanistan and Liberia as the youngest members, having joined in 2016. WTO also has 25 observer governments and countries. Essentially, WTO is an alternative dispute entity that oversees international rules for trade organizations by giving them a platform to negotiate and resolve trade matters.
The European Union is an international entity that comprises 27 European countries that oversee common social, economic and security policies. The members of the European Union include Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Cyprus, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland. Latvia, Luxembourg, and Lithuania, the Netherlands, Malta, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Slovenia, and Sweden. The United Kingdom, one of EUs founding member existed the organization in 2020. The European Union was formed by the Maastricht Treaty that took effect on 1st November 2023. The treaty was meant to enhance economic and political integration in Europe through the creation of a single currency (euro), having common rights for citizenship, unified security and foreign policy and advancing unity in matters of asylum, immigration, and judicial affairs.
The Third world is a term that has been historically used to refer to a category of economically developing nations. Although the terms have since been outdated it is part of a four-part section categorization used in describing the economies of countries according to economic status. The third world comes after the First World and Second World countries but well ahead of the Fourth World, which was barely recognized. Nowadays, the preferred terms used to refer to third-world countries are underdeveloped countries, developing nations, or middle or low-income countries (Ayoob, 14). Generally, nations are characterized by employment growth, domestic product, unemployment rate and employment growth. Underdeveloped countries are monitored closely by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which seeks to give a aid for the purpose of improving economic and infrastructure systems comprehensively.
Ayoob, Mohammed. “The third world security predicament.” The Third World Security Predicament. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2022.
Villareal, M., and Ian F. Fergusson. “The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).” (2017).